Text corrections which is easier / Linotype or Monotype

I went to a conference at the Library of Congress yesterday and one of the speakers showed an image of TEXT EDITS on the type proofs made by James Joyce for the book Ulysses. He also made a statement that Joyce rewrote as much as 1/3rd of the book at the page proof stage (finished type). You can see an example in the attached image.

My question is, “If an author was going to correct such massive amounts of the text” would it just be easier to start over on casting the type or might making the corrections be somewhat easier with Linotype or Monotype.

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On this page, almost all of the written notes seem to be additional names to be inserted into the groups of typeset names which are already there. It looks like the paragraphs would only have to be broken apart in a few places to do this, which would probably not be too hard, and easier if it was linotype rather than monotype. At most, type would have to be reset down to the ends of some of the paragraphs.

It doesn’t look like he used standard proofreaders’ marks, which makes it a little harder to understand the changes. It also would have been nicer if he had glued a separate piece of paper to the page to give him more room to make orderly changes.

It’s too bad that that the type had already been made up into pages because this big an addition is going to cause multiple pages to be changed, probably down to the end of that chapter.

It looks very messy to us now, but typesetting machine operators and composing room people were used to this kind of thing 100 years ago when this was printed.

His corrections used to seem benign and exciting to me back when I wrote my dissertation on him back in the Triassic Age. Now, with a little experience typesetting and printing, this seems positively monstrous and evil. Poor typesetter - and imagine the added printer’s expenses for poor Sylvia Beach - a printer, by the way, who spoke little-to-no English). At any rate, since he was near-blind, are you sure those are Joyce’s scribbles?

Have you ever seen the corrections made by Honoré Balzac on the proofs of his books? As the typesetters refused to correct any longer, he simply bought the printing company and ordered the staff to carry on with the job…

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