Gentlemen Prefer Blondes: A Critical Edition


This publication-in-progress presents a critical edition of Anita Loos’s novel Gentlemen Prefer Blondes (1925). By “critical edition,” I mean a representation of a work that takes into account its historical production and reception, and the major variants of the work in different historical documents, in order to provide a reliable text and textual apparatus that supports further scholarship and teaching. Therefore, this edition first and foremost presents a clean reading text that can be used by those who wish to read a reliable version of the text with minimal interference, but it also provides views of the variants between the two primary published 1925 editions of Blondes (in magazine and book formats). Readers will also find or can expect the addition of biographies of Loos and of illustrator Ralph Barton, accounts of the production and reception of the novel, and other historical context that will help readers pursue interpretations of the work. Finally, the edition provides technical information about its construction and an editor’s introduction that frames the choices made in the creation of the edition. These components can be explored using the navigation below or through the Table of Contents menu at the top left of the screen.

This edition is currently available in a draft form, with final publication expected in 2022. Until the final publication, information may change without notice: most substantively this will involve filling out sections that are incomplete, including additional historical primary sources that provide context to the production and reception of the novel. However, it is likely existing editorial content will be revised (and will certainly be copyedited) before final publication. While great effort has gone into ensuring the reliability of the presentation of the text and textual variants, if any lingering errors are identified they may also change without note during the draft phase. Interested readers are encouraged to send me feedback on ways the edition would be more useful to them, or if they believe they have identified an error of fact or in the collation of the text, either via email, or by leaving a public comment using the plugin on the right side of your screen. Using requires registering an account, but allows for public annotation and back and forth, and I welcome its use especially for substantive suggestions that may prompt conversation. Likewise, readers will be able to examine public comments left by others on by expanding the right-hand sidebar.

Daniel G. Tracy, Editor

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