Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Is Watchman the Unedited Mockingbird?

See where 

‘Go Set a Watchman’ overlaps with 

‘To Kill a Mockingbird,’ 

word-for-word


Maybe it's not a new book at all. I found this article to be fascinating. Read highlighted passages from both books that are repeated almost word for word. The more I read, the more I believe this is Mockingbird before the two and one half years of editing and rewriting. What do you think? Read here. 

9 comments:

laney said...

...my first take on watchman...mockingbird is the more beautifully written book...watchman is the more honestly written book...

laney said...

...ps...I thought it had been made clear...watchman was written first...and the publishers asked for a rewrite...and then came mockingbird...

Content in a Cottage said...

laney.....I must admit that I haven't seen any media on TV about the book recently. I've been really busy with a real estate customer and working outside. Thanks for the information. It's interesting to see how very edited a book can become before it's published. Giving the editors what they want while the author manages to hang on and hope the grueling process is over soon.
xo, Rosemary

JudyMac said...

Would be interesting to know what happened behind the scenes that caused Atticus Finch to evolve from an "unapologetic racist" to a "moral hero." Editor's suggestions and influence? Just from the comparisons, it would appear that Watchman was only the first draft. What happened after that?

laney said...

...as a white southerner...elementary age...I can tell you...watchman is very authentic...it made me weep and cringe...certainly the publishers...at then end of the 50s...or very early 60s...saw that this would be met with a firestorm...strangely...now...all these years later...it will be met with much the same...it is the shattered relationship of calpurnia and scout that broke my heart...for I am old enough to know that we are all flawed...even loved and revered parents...and their children...

Content in a Cottage said...

JudyMac -- I suppose the long editing process might be the real reason Harper Lee stopped submitting new work. It's all very interesting, isn't it? I would love to know her initial reaction to such drastic changes in her manuscript. Two and a half years is a long time to rewrite something you've already written. So the final Mockingbird was really a collaborative effort between the editor and the author. No wonder writers have such a hard time finding a kindred editor. It sounds like a dreadful process to me.
xo, Rosemary

countrymeadowsdesigns said...

I am headed out today to buy the book, and I hadn't read that this was the original draft rewritten as Mockingbird. Everything I've read, which hasn't been a lot, has just explained it's a return to the town through the eyes of now-adult children.

I am disappointed to hear it, but then again I love Mockingbird so much I will see it as what Harper Lee wanted to say in the first place, before she was given new directions. It probably is a more honest version of Mockingbird.

jane said...

I think it was two stories, one how life really was and one how she would have liked life to be. Wouldn't you choose to publish a more hopeful story as the first one out for an author. Then came immediate fame. Why would you then show the bad side of the story, even if it was a well written.

Maureen Sullivan Stemberg, Interiors said...

Rosemary,

I think you are correct.. To Kill a .Mockingbird and Watchman is one and the same... Obviously, Mockingbird won out. Maureen