As I mentioned in a previous post, Sharon and I have been asked to cut a rather ridiculous number of pages from the last four chapters of our textbook. That we can't take those pages from the first eight, which are running very long, is frustrating. That we weren't told our book would have to be the same exact size as our previous edition is infuriating.
On the chopping block, then, are two chapters: chapter 9 on sophistic topics (definition, division, etc.), and chapter 12 on Memory.
Collin and I were joking on Friday about how Sharon and I were going to erase memory from the canon, and while it's kind of funny, it's really rather depressing. The problem is that the chapter on sophistic topics has some usable stuff for composition--like what goes into a good definition, and how definitions can be incorporated into arguments--whereas the memory chapter has some useful stuff for history of rhetoric, such as a treatment of ancient memory systems, which were pretty damned cool. Complicating matters is the fact that our book, for those of you who don't know, has two audiences: those who use it as a resource for ancient rhetoric, and those who use it as their comp textbook. So you can see why we're at something of an impasse about which one to cut.
Our editor favors memory, probably because the bucks aren't made with grad students who consult our book on the shelves of their comp office. We on the other hand cherish those readers.
Trimming down at this point isn't really an option.
So I'm asking you, dear readers, especially those who use ARCS in either of the ways mentioned above, which one could you do without?