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2012 Master's Level Graduate Research Conference

Session I - Session II - Session III - Session IV

A Chronological and Textual Analysis of the Revisions to Ed Dorn’s Gunslinger/Slinger

Ed Dorn’s Gunslinger has often been analyzed for its transformative and deconstructive approach towards two conventions within language and culture. Most apparent is his departure from linear perception and any emphasis on voice and logic, while others have analyzed the use of satire. The primary text used is the collected four books of Gunslinger published by Wingbow Press in 1975, titled simply Slinger. Here is an attempt to consolidate these and other concerns, having outlined Dorn’s editorial minutiae, charting the textual and typographic alterations from the first appearance of Book I in 1968 to the final product. This textual deconstruction Book I of Gunslinger/Slinger begins to clarify these alterations and the alignment with his ultimate vision of Gunslinger. Justifiably, Dorn’s positing of the elimination of such a linear reading makes this approach appear to be a misreading or bastardization. However, the approach taken here can in fact supplement the popularly accepted reading of Gunslinger, given the period between publications. While focusing specifically on Book I, naturally the furthest from final publication, the paper marks the connotative possibilities for the word “slinger,” moving on to the page formatting, and variations to syntactic, phonemic, and graphic implications for “character” and “plot.” Further analyzed is the schism between Charles Olson and Ed Dorn, relating to the valorization of space and location, and the tactics by which Dorn accomplishes this. The paper concludes by recognizing the deviation to Dorn’s political and poetic impetus from 1968 and 1975, as motivation behind these revisions.

Presenter: Jason Pontillo (University at Buffalo) --
Topic: English - Panel
Location: 216 Hartwell
Time: 11:10 am (Session II)