Had some spare time today, and rather than revise my Nameless City, I took a look at Arthur Jermyn (link contains spoilers!), and started to add footnotes to that. I’m two pages in and I have 14 footnotes so far. That suggests approximately 160 footnotes for this story!
The real enemy is “editorial fatigue.” That’s a term used in textual analysis to refer to instances where an editor (in this case, me) over time becomes less diligent / observant while revising or editing a document. In the modern era, this is less of a problem, but when scribes were copying and revising a document entirely by hand, it would be nearly impossible to go back to an already written section and revise it a second time to amend a mistake due to ‘editorial fatigue.’
It’s possible this technique might be used in analysis of HPL’s own works, as he would have been writing them out by hand, and then revising them by hand and finally typing them up on a typewriter. If we have something unusual or that doesn’t match (the previous text / chapter / section) showing up later in a story, the principle of editorial fatigue suggests that it is in fact a trace of the original text, accidentally overlooked during the editing process.
Anyways, back on topic: annotating takes an enormous amount of time: not only do I have to typeset the entire story, but I have to re-read it, identify ‘suspect’ words, phrases or names, look them up and occasionally condense the definitions.
I have The Call of Cthulhu annotated, but I’d like to go through it again before I release it to the public. If I recall correctly, it was something like 50 pages with 100+ footnotes, a number that now seems small in comparison to The Nameless City. It’s anyone’s guess as to what will be released next, and when.