Rant: BN Publishing’s edition of _The Art of Dramatic Writing_


Lajos Egri’s book has some good content, but it’s hard to read. I mean, physically difficult. I don’t have the necessary copyright law ninja skills to be sure, but I think this 1946 book might be in the public domain, judging by the many editions available on Amazon. But stay away from this one, published in 2007 by BN Publishing.

The typesetting is so bad I think it must have been done in notepad.exe. The margins of the oversized pages are narrower than my pinky, and the text runs all the way across. No columns. No indentation on or space between paragraphs. No typographic quotes. No em-dashes. No special formatting for extended quotations–of which there are many–or any other way to tell them apart from the running text. Random line breaks. And a ridiculous number of glaring errors, misspellings, even a 1 instead of a !. What did they do, hand retype it?

The Search Inside link on Amazon takes you to a different edition from a different publisher, one which is much more readable. If you decide to pick it up, I’d suggest maybe this edition or this one. And for BN Publishing, I recommend this book.

The book focuses on playwriting, but it will be vaulable to anyone wanting to get a bigger-picture feel for why some stories resonate with people and some fall flat. -m

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