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Aren't textbooks supposed to be edited?!

I am posting twice in a row. ...Oh well.

I just finished reading a *required* chapter in the textbook for my drawing class (yes, we have a textbook). If it isn't silly enough that we have to try and apply a text to a subject like drawing, this is one of the worst textbooks I've ever encountered. It was actually kind of fun to read the chapter, not for the content, but for all the mistakes and horrible writing I found in it. I found myself wishing that the writer had come in for a consultation with me, or anybody really. Of course I would hope it was with me, I wouldn't want to miss out on that fun opportunity.

Aren't textbooks edited? And don't editors charge a decent amount to do their work?! I just can't understand how it was so horrible! I came across fun little tidbits like, "Twombly's drawing is a contemporary the Van Gogin use of invented and actual textures," and "The sixty engravings of butterflies, banana plants, and pea pods were so correctly rendered that they were often referenced by botanists in her day. ...The precise accuracy of these drawings is so fine that botanists reproduce and reference her work today," (with only two sentences between the last two). Besides these examples, the writer's verb tense jumps around from past to present to future to who knows what else. It's so bad that I couldn't understand parts because the writing was too unclear. The author (who shall remain nameless) also made many assumptions in their writing that made me ell oh ell when reading them. One of my favorites was within a biography section on Vincent Van Goh. The very last sentence of the sections reads, "In this last year of his life, the ideas of each painting came vividly to his mind." Of course this could be true, but how would the author know?! Did they interview Van Goh, or reference an interview with him? Because if they did, I don't see a citation...tsk tsk. I also found that sentence a hilarious way to end a biography. I'm left without a feeling of closure, dear author...please let me bring this biography to a mental close.

You'll have to excuse my rant on this textbook. Hopefully some of you, as fellow lovers of writing, can understand my frustration (and amusement) that this reading is required. At least I can't get too bored reading it...or can I ?!

-Meherrr

Comments

If there are errors in Style (which there are), what chance to mere art historians have at producing a decently-edited book? The world is going to hell in a handbasket, my friend.