Editing Modernism in Canada


April 8, 2013

Margaret Steffler and P.K. Page’s Mexican Journal

Margaret Steffler, an Associate Professor in the Department of English Literature at Trent University and EMiC co-applicant, is editor of P.K. Page’s Mexican Journal. During the early 1960s, Page’s husband served as Canada’s ambassador to Mexico, and during that time, Page recorded her experiences and reflections in her journal. Unpublished during her lifetime, the Mexican Journal features Page’s entries from March 1960 to January 1964.

Right now, Margaret is in the final stages of the preparation of the Mexican Journal for Porcupine’s Quill Press. She is currently working on the index for the edition, which will be published in the fall of 2013. So far, Porcupine’s Quill Press has published two volumes in a series of volumes of Page’s work — the Mexican Journal will be the third. These print volumes will serve as a complement to the upcoming digital edition of The Collected Works of P.K. Page.

The largest challenge Margaret faced in editing the Mexican Journal was deciding what to include and what to cut from the manuscript for the print publication. In the end, Margaret had to cut a great deal of material from the edition. Another major challenge in this project was cutting down the explanatory notes for the print edition. Margaret and her team were only able to include a fraction of the research and notes they prepared in the process of creating this edition. All of this cut material will, however, be available in the future digital edition.

In addition, the Porcupine’s Quill Press print edition will include illustrations. Once again, as with the entries and notes, Margaret was forced to select a representative sample of illustrations, and this involved cutting material. Nonetheless, she found the process of bringing together the journal and the illustrations to be very exciting and rewarding.

The next step for Page’s Mexican Journal will be to move towards digital publication. Thankfully, all of the work Margaret and her team have done for the print edition will be used for the digital edition. In the process of preparing the print edition, Margaret has been well aware of the next stage of the digital edition, so she and her team have worked carefully to ensure that they have all of the material they need to start on the digital edition as soon as the print edition is published.

For more information about Page’s Mexican Journal, visit Porcupine’s Quill Press.


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