A cancellation or insertion in a manuscript is the visible sign of altered intentions. When we observe a revision, we ‘see’ the vestige of a writer‘s changings, and in this way the writer’s absence takes on more presence, or more precisely, we begin to perceive layerings of absence. A revision has a beginning, middle, and end, and its end does not negate the beginning or middle. A revision occupies a space and reflects the passage of time; it reveals options and choices; it has direction. It is a chord of dissonances and harmonies, and not a single note. A writer’s revision presents us with multiple texts vying for position on the page. In revision, writers exist, it may be said, not in the linear sequence of their words but in the shifting tides of the language they use, in their choice of words and the distance between one choice and the next. This is a different order of absence, and of presence.

(Bryant 2002, 12-13)

Contributed by Caroline. View changelog.