Elsa von Freytag-LoringhovenOriginal Source:
The Baroness' poems and papers are contained in the Archives and Manuscripts Department at the University of Maryland Libraries. Complete papers cover the period from 1917-1933 and consist of manuscripts, drafts, notes, correspondence, drawings and photographs.
Textual transcription and analysis of the seven poems encoded here were undertaken in Fall 2003 by graduate students in William H. Sherman's English 601 class, "Literary Research and Critical Contexts."
Text editing of ""Last Gesture" was performed by Michele Von Euw.Witness a1: Last Gesture (Memory to "Ernest"– – E.H.) ()
Witness a2: LAST gESTURE: TO MYSELF () ()
Witness a3: LAST gESTURE ()
Witness a4: LAST gESTURE ()
Witness a5: Untitled ()
Witness a6: TREAT ()
Textual Notes: There are six versions of this poem, listed in the order in which they were found in Folder 64 by the encoder. Witness 1 is entitled "Last Gesture (Memory to 'Earnest' -- E.H.)," witness 2 is entitled "Last Gesture: To Myself," witnesses 23and 4 are entitled "Last Gesture," witness 6 is entitled "Treat," and witness 5 is untitled. All are variations of the same poem. The date of their creation is unknown, and they have never been published.
The following is an excerpt from Michelle Von Euw's transcription rationale: The...transcriptions attempt to replicate the pages from the Baroness's collection. In all cases, fonts were selected to match the originals: Courier New was used to duplicate the typewritten pages, and Bernhard Fashion BT was chosen for its similarity to the Baroness's handwriting. Majuscules were used to duplicate her own preference for printing in capital letters, and blue, red, and purple ink was used to denote where those pen colors were present on the Baroness's pages. In a few places, where electronic duplication was not possible, handwritten inserts were made onto the pages to preserve the integrity of the transcription. In a few cases, an editorial decision was made to keep certain text uncovered: the dedication to "E.H." on page 2 n Encoder's note: Witness 3, for example, was so obscured on the original pages that it was impossible to read in photocopies. As the quotation hints at an unexplained mystery -- and the dedication ultimately makes it to the typed version of "Last Gesture" n Encoder's note: Witness 1 -- it seemed essential to preserve this note for future replications.
A final edition of the poem has been constructed, based primarily on the final typed version (1) of "Last Gesture". A few things lead me to believe that this is the version the Baroness would ultimately want to see published: first, it is the accumulation of combinations of words that she apparently experimented with on the earlier versions, copying neatly onto page 2 her preferred arrangement. Second, this is the typed version, and there is an implied communication (most likely with Barnes) about the product and its importance. A few changes are made in the Baroness's red pen, which have been incorporated by this editor as "corrections," in order to capture the author's latest intent. Anticipating that this version is to be published in print, the red ink markings have been excluded. (If the poem were to be mounted on a website, the electronic copy retains the red markings, which would be appropriate – it's exciting to imagine that after seventy-five years of oblivion, a reader would be able to view the Baroness's work as she did, colorful red ink dashes and exclamation points highlighting the staid black text.)
The following is a brief explanation of Paula Larich's encoding rationale: I coded the witnesses in the order I found them, for simplicity's sake. Witness 1 appears to be the "final" poem, while the others indicate the various word choices the Baroness made before settling on those in Witness 1. The witnesses are often difficult to decipher, and the reader is encouraged to view the witness image while looking at each version. I have tried to indicate where the author changed her mind through additions, deletions, and word transfers, but in many instances it was simply an educated guess. All spelling errors have been faithfully reproduced. The reader should resize the browser window to ensure that lines don't wrap. Most of the encoding notes refer to something in the original that couldn't easily be coded; the reader should refer to the appropriate image for more information. Additions that were subsequently deleted by the author are indicated in green letters with a red strikethrough. Simple deletions appear in red letters with a red strikethrough.
The Baroness wrote in uppercase letters, with the exception of the letters "g," "n," and "q." These have been kept as in the originals. It is easy to see that witnesses 1 and 2 are very similar, the major difference being that witness 1 was typewritten, and both upper -and lowercase letters were used. Witnesses 5 and 6 would appear to be the earliest versions, with the most rewrites. Even though these two witnesses appear on the same page, I have decided to encode them as separate versions. They parallel each other enough to assume that they are separate entities, and not the same one with multiple corrections.
Read Michele Von Euw's essays "Last Gesture" and "Recreating the Baroness' 'Last Gesture:' Hemingway, Hopelessness, and Hats of Birthday Cake."
Additions appear in a green, fixed-width font. Deletions appear in a red, fixed-width font with strikethrough.
Electronic Edition Information
Encoded by Paula Larich
All annotations by Paula Larich
Published by Special Collections, University of Maryland Libraries
Researchers can gain access to the Papers of Elsa von Freytag-Loringhoven in the Maryland Room, Hornbake Library, University of Maryland Libraries, College Park, MD 20742
"Last Gesture"" manuscripts located in Series III, Box 2, Folder 64; microfiche id numbers 4/462-4/467.
Special Collections at the University of Maryland provides more information about the microfilm edition of the papers.
Images and manuscripts drafts of this poem may not be reproduced or downloaded and used on another site without the explicit permission of UMD Archives. They may not be reproduced or downloaded and used on another site without the explicit permission of UMD Archives. Though the intellectual property of Elsa von Freytag-Loringhoven is in the public domain, all annotations and editorial commentary are copyrighted.
DTD constructed from TEI poetry base with tagsets for linking, figures, analysis, transcr, textcrit.