One of the great triumphs of nineteenth-century philology was the development of the wide array of comparative data that underpins the grammars of the Old Germanic dialects, such as Old English, Old Icelandic, Old Saxon, and Gothic. These led to the reconstruction of Common Germanic and Proto-Germanic languages. Many individuals have forgotten that scholars of the same period were interested in reconstructing the body of ancient law that was supposedly shared by all speakers of Germanic. Stefan Jurasinski's Ancient Privileges: Beowulf, Law, and the Making of the Germanic Antiquity recounts how the work of nineteenth-century legal historians actually influenced the editing of Old English texts, most notably Beowulf, in ways that are still preserved in our editions. This situation has been a major contributor to the archaizing of Beowulf. In turn, Jurasinski's careful analysis of its assumptions in light of contemporary research offers a model for scholars to apply to a number of other textual artifacts that have been affected by what was known as the historische Rechtsschule. At the very least, it will change the way you think about Beowulf.
Every book has a story of its own, a path leading from the initial idea that sparked it to its emergence into the world in published form. No two books follow quite the same path, but all are shaped by a similar array of market forces and writing craft concerns as well as by a cast of characters stretching beyond the author. Behind the Book explores how eleven contemporary first-time authors, in genres ranging from post-apocalyptic fiction to young adult fantasy to travel memoir, navigated these pathways with their debut works. Based on extensive interviews with the authors, it covers the process of writing and publishing a book from beginning to end, including idea generation, developing a process, building a support network, revising the manuscript, finding the right approach to publication, building awareness, and ultimately moving on to the next project. It also includes insights from editors, agents, publishers, and others who helped to bring these projects to life.
Unlike other books on writing craft, Behind the Book looks at the larger picture of how an author’s work and choices can affect the outcome of a project. The authors profiled in each story open up about their challenges, mistakes, and successes. While their paths to publication may be unique, together they offer important lessons that authors of all types can apply to their own writing journeys.
The story of Beowulf and his hard-fought victory over the monster Grendel has captured the imagination of readers and listeners for a millennium. The heroic Anglo-Saxon story survives to the world in one eleventh-century manuscript that was badly burned in 1731, and in two eighteenth-century transcriptions of the manuscripts.
Kevin S. Kiernan, one of the world's foremost Beowulf scholars, has studied the manuscript extensively with the most up-to-date methods, including fiber-optic backlighting and computer digitization. This volume reprints Kiernan's earlier study of the manuscript, in which he presented his novel conclusions about the date of Beowulf. It also offers a new Introduction in which the author describes the value of electronic study of Beowulf, and a new Appendix that lists all the letters and parts of letters revealed by backlighting.
This important volume will be a must-read not only for the scholar of early English history and literature, but for all those who are interested in practical applications of the new technologies.
Scholars have long noted the role that college literary anthologies play in the rising and falling reputations of American authors. Canons by Consensus examines this classroom fixture in detail to challenge and correct a number of assumptions about the development of the literary canon throughout the 20th century.
Joseph Csicsila analyzes more than 80 anthologies published since 1919 and traces not only the critical fortunes of individual authors, but also the treatment of entire genres and groupings of authors by race, region, gender, and formal approach. In doing so, he calls into question accusations of deliberate or inadvertent sexism and racism. Selections by anthology editors, Csicsila demonstrates, have always been governed far more by prevailing trends in academic criticism than by personal bias.
Academic anthologies are found to constitute a rich and often overlooked resource for studying American literature, as well as an irrefutable record of the academy’s changing literary tastes throughout the last century.
Choosing Not Choosing
Sharon Cameron University of Chicago Press, 1993 Library of Congress PS1541.Z5C287 1992 | Dewey Decimal 811.4
Although Emily Dickinson copied and bound her poems into manuscript notebooks, in the century since her death her poems have been read as single lyrics with little or no regard for the context she created for them in her fascicles. Choosing Not Choosing is the first book-length consideration of the poems in their manuscript context. Sharon Cameron demonstrates that to read the poems with attention to their placement in the fascicles is to observe scenes and subjects unfolding between and among poems rather than to think of them as isolated riddles, enigmatic in both syntax and reference. Thus Choosing Not Choosing illustrates that the contextual sense of Dickinson is not the canonical sense of Dickinson.
Considering the poems in the context of the fascicles, Cameron argues that an essential refusal of choice pervades all aspects of Dickinson's poetry. Because Dickinson never chose whether she wanted her poems read as single lyrics or in sequence (nor is it clear where any fascicle text ends, or even how, in context, a poem is bounded), "not choosing" is a textual issue; it is also a formal issue because Dickinson refused to chose among poetic variants; it is a thematic issue; and, finally, it is a philosophical one, since what is produced by "not choosing" is a radical indifference to difference. Extending the readings of Dickinson offered in her earlier book Lyric Time, Cameron continues to enlarge our understanding of the work of this singular American poet.
Contemporary German Editorial Theory
Hans Walter Gabler, George Bornstein, and Gillian Borland Pierce, Editors University of Michigan Press, 1995 Library of Congress PT74.H45 1995 | Dewey Decimal 801.959094309045
Over the past decade, Anglo-American notions of textual construction and editorial theory have begun major paradigm shifts. Many of the key emergent issues of Anglo-American debate--such as theories of versions--are already familiar in German theory. In other respects, including systematic reflection on the design and function of editorial apparatus, the German debate has already produced paradigms and procedures as yet unformulated in English.
Contemporary German Editorial Theory makes available for the first time in English ten major essays by seven German theorists, together with an original introductory meditation by Hans Walter Gabler, editor of the celebrated edition of James Joyce's Ulysses. The volume thus participates in the paradigm shift in editorial theory that has led both to theoretical reconception of the field and to groundbreaking practical results. Topics discussed include the distinction between historical record and editor's interpretation, the display of multiple versions, concepts of authorization and intention, and the relations of textual theory to approaches like deconstruction and semiotics. The book also includes suggestions for further reading in both languages and a glossary of technical terms.
Contributors are Hans Zeller, Miroslav Cervenka, Elisabeth Höpker-Herberg, Henning Boetius, Siegfried Scheibe, and Gerhard Seidel.
Bringing together the heretofore separate Anglo- American and German approaches will strengthen each separately and prepare the way for a new hybrid combining the advantages of both orientations. This book will interest not only students of Anglo-American or German literature, but all who study cultural construction and transmission.
Hans Walter Gabler is Professor of English Literature, University of Munich. George Bornstein is Professor of English, University of Michigan. Gillian Borland Pierce is a Ph.D. candidate in Comparative Literature, University of Michigan.
Digital Critical Editions
Edited by Daniel Apollon, Claire Belisle, and Philippe Regnier University of Illinois Press, 2014 Library of Congress PN171.D37D54 2014 | Dewey Decimal 808.0270285
Provocative yet sober, Digital Critical Editions examines how transitioning from print to a digital milieu deeply affects how scholars deal with the work of editing critical texts. On one hand, forces like changing technology and evolving reader expectations lead to the development of specific editorial products, while on the other hand, they threaten traditional forms of knowledge and methods of textual scholarship.
Using the experiences of philologists, text critics, text encoders, scientific editors, and media analysts, Digital Critical Editions ranges from philology in ancient Alexandria to the vision of user-supported online critical editing, from peer-directed texts distributed to a few to community-edited products shaped by the many. The authors discuss the production and accessibility of documents, the emergence of tools used in scholarly work, new editing regimes, and how the readers' expectations evolve as they navigate digital texts. The goal: exploring questions such as, What kind of text is produced? Why is it produced in this particular way?
Digital Critical Editions provides digital editors, researchers, readers, and technological actors with insights for addressing disruptions that arise from the clash of traditional and digital cultures, while also offering a practical roadmap for processing traditional texts and collections with today's state-of-the-art editing and research techniques thus addressing readers' new emerging reading habits.
Most moviegoers think of editing and special effects as distinct components of the filmmaking process. We might even conceive of them as polar opposites, since effective film editing is often subtle and almost invisible, whereas special effects frequently call attention to themselves. Yet, film editors and visual effects artists have worked hand-in-hand from the dawn of cinema to the present day.
Editing and Special/Visual Effects brings together a diverse range of film scholars who trace how the arts of editing and effects have evolved in tandem. Collectively, the contributors demonstrate how these two crafts have been integral to cinematic history, starting with the “trick films” of the early silent era, which astounded audiences by splicing in or editing out key frames, all the way up to cutting-edge effects technologies and concealed edits used to create the illusions. Throughout, readers learn about a variety of filmmaking techniques, from classic Hollywood’s rear projection and matte shots to the fast cuts and wall-to-wall CGI of the contemporary blockbuster.
In addition to providing a rich historical overview, Editing and Special/Visual Effects supplies multiple perspectives on these twinned crafts, introducing readers to the analog and digital tools used in each craft, showing the impact of changes in the film industry, and giving the reader a new appreciation for the processes of artistic collaboration they involve.
The Bible is likely the most-edited book in history, yet the task of editing the Hebrew, Aramaic, and Greek texts of the Bible is fraught with difficulties. The dearth of Hebrew manuscripts of the Jewish Scriptures and the substantial differences among those witnesses creates difficulties in determining which text ought to be printed as the text of the Jewish Scriptures. For the New Testament, it is not the dearth of manuscripts but the overwhelming number of manuscripts—almost six thousand Greek manuscripts and many more in other languages—that presents challenges for sorting and analyzing such a large, multivariant data set. This volume, representing experts in the editing of the Hebrew Bible and the New Testament, discusses both current achievements and future challenges in creating modern editions of the biblical texts in their original languages. The contributors are Kristin De Troyer, Michael W. Holmes, John S. Kloppenborg, Sarianna Metso, Judith H. Newman, Holger Strutwolf, Eibert Tigchelaar, David Trobisch, Eugene Ulrich, John Van Seters, Klaus Wachtel, and Ryan Wettlaufer.
Emily Dickinson's Open Folios: Scenes of Reading, Surfaces of Writing is a fine facsimile edition and aesthetic exploration of a group of forty late drafts and fragments hitherto known as the "Lord letters." The drafts are presented in facsimile form on high-quality paper alongside typed transcriptions that reproduce as fully as possible the shock of script and startling array of visual details inscribed on the surfaces of the manuscripts.
Werner argues that a redefinition of the editorial enterprise is needed to approach the revelations of these writings-- the details that have been all but erased by editorial interventions and print conventions in the twentieth century. Paradoxically, "un-editing" them allows an exploration of the relationship between medium and messages. Werner's commentary forsakes the claims to comprehensiveness generally associated with scholarly narrative in favor of a series of speculative and fragmentary "close-ups"--a portrait in pieces. Finally, she proposes the acts of both reading and writing as visual poems.
A crucial reference for Dickinson scholars, this book is also of primary importance to textual scholars, editorial theorists, and students of gender and cultural studies interested in the production, dissemination, and interpretation of works by women writers.
This publication has been supported by a grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities.
Marta L. Werner received her Ph.D. from the State University of New York-Buffalo. She is an independent scholar and a member of the Emily Dickinson Editing Collective.
Cristanne Miller’s major edition of Dickinson’s poems presents the 1,100 poems the poet retained during her lifetime, in the form she retained them. Dickinson took pains to copy these poems onto folded sheets in fair hand, arguably to preserve them for posterity. Included are Dickinson’s alternate phrases and the editor’s notes and Introduction.
A new perspective on editorial activity in the Hebrew Bible for research and teaching
Evidence of Editing lays out the case for substantial and frequent editorial activity within the Hebrew Bible. The authors show how editors omitted, expanded, rewrote, and compiled both smaller and larger phrases and passages to address religious and political change. The book refines the exegetical method of literary and redaction criticism, and its results have important consequences for the future use of the Hebrew Bible in historical and theological studies.
Hebrew, Greek, and Aramaic examples of editorial activity
Clear explanations of the distinctions between textual, literary, and redaction criticism
Fifteen chapters attesting to continual editorial activity in the Torah, the Prophets, and the Writings
Theorists, scholars, and critics usually consider literary works to be fixed objects, assuming that any variations in the text of a work should be stabilized, reduced, eliminated. John Bryant urges that these variations create valuable records of the interactions between the artist and society. Preprint revisions, revised editions, adaptations for film, and expurgations for children are among the many forms of flux that shape literary works and position them relative to their audiences. Fully understanding the life of a literary work in its cultural situation requires recognizing the fluidity of text, and the present work makes the first coherent theoretical, critical, and editorial approach to the study of revision.
The author develops his theory and its critical application drawing upon the example of Melville's Typee, using its various versions to present protocols for fluid text analysis. He shows how the mountain of scholarly material comprising the fluid text can be presented by a partnership of book and computer screen, in ways that offer new opportunities, insights,and pleasures for scholars and readers.
The Fluid Text: A Theory of Revision and Editing for Book and Screen is written in a clear and accessible style and will appeal to scholars and students in editorial theory, literary criticism and analysis, and anyone concerned with the information architecture of complex literary works in digital media.
John Bryant is Professor of English, Hofstra University. His most recent book is an edition of Melville's Tales, Poems, and Other Writings.
From Dissertation to Book
William Germano University of Chicago Press, 2005 Library of Congress PN162.G37 2005 | Dewey Decimal 808.02
All new Phd's hope that their dissertations can become books. But a dissertation is written for a committee and a book for the larger world. William Germano's From Dissertation to Book is the essential guide for academic writers who want to revise a doctoral thesis for publication. The author of Getting It Published, Germano draws upon his extensive experience in academic publishing to provide writers with a state-of-the-art view of how to turn a dissertation into a manuscript that publishers will notice.
Acknowledging first that not all theses can become books, Germano shows how some dissertations might have a better life as one or more journal articles or as chapters in a newly conceived book. But even dissertations strong enough to be published as books first need to become book manuscripts, and at the heart of From Dissertation to Book is the idea that revising the dissertation is a fundamental process of adapting from one genre of writing to another.
Germano offers clear guidance on how to do just this. Writers will find advice on such topics as rethinking the table of contents, taming runaway footnotes, shaping chapter length, and confronting the limitations of jargon, alongside helpful timetables for light or heavy revision. With crisp directives, engaging examples, and a sympathetic eye for the foibles of academic writing, From Dissertation to Book reveals to recent PhD's the process of careful and thoughtful revision—a truly invaluable skill as they grow into their new roles as professional writers.
When a dissertation crosses my desk, I usually want to grab it by its metaphorical lapels and give it a good shake. “You know something!” I would say if it could hear me. “Now tell it to us in language we can understand!”
Since its publication in 2005, From Dissertation to Book has helped thousands of young academic authors get their books beyond the thesis committee and into the hands of interested publishers and general readers. Now revised and updated to reflect the evolution of scholarly publishing, this edition includes a new chapter arguing that the future of academic writing is in the hands of young scholars who must create work that meets the broader expectations of readers rather than the narrow requirements of academic committees.
At the heart of From Dissertation to Book is the idea that revising the dissertation is fundamentally a process of shifting its focus from the concerns of a narrow audience—a committee or advisors—to those of a broader scholarly audience that wants writing to be both informative and engaging. William Germano offers clear guidance on how to do this, with advice on such topics as rethinking the table of contents, taming runaway footnotes, shaping chapter length, and confronting the limitations of jargon, alongside helpful timetables for light or heavy revision.
Germano draws on his years of experience in both academia and publishing to show writers how to turn a dissertation into a book that an audience will actually enjoy, whether reading on a page or a screen. Germano also acknowledges that not all dissertations can or even should become books and explores other, often overlooked, options, such as turning them into journal articles or chapters in an edited work.
With clear directions, engaging examples, and an eye for the idiosyncrasies of academic writing, From Dissertation to Book reveals to recent PhDs the secrets of careful and thoughtful revision—a skill that will be truly invaluable as they add “author” to their curriculum vitae.
Based on extensive fieldwork at two well-known commercial publishers of scholarly books, Walter W. Powell details the different ways in which both internal politics and external networks influence decisions about what should be published. Powell focuses on the work of acquisitions editors: how they decide which few manuscripts, out of hundreds, to sponsor for publication; how editorial autonomy is shaped, but never fully curbed, by unobtrusive controls; and how the search process fits into the social structure of the American academy. Powell's observations—and the many candid remarks of publishers and their staffs—recreate the workaday world of publishing.
Throughout, the sociology of organizations and of culture serves as Powell's interpretive framework. Powell shows how scholarly publishers help define what is "good" social science research and how the history and tradition of a publishing house contribute to the development of an organizational identity. Powell's review of actual correspondence, from outside letters proposing projects to internal "kill" letters of rejection, suggests that editors and authors at times form their own quasi-organization with external allegiances and bonds beyond those of the publishing house.
"This is a welcome addition to the literature on the life of the organizations that produce our science and our culture. Powell's intimate look at two scholarly publishing companies has an insider's appreciation of the book business and an outsider's eye for questions the editors are not asking themselves."—Michael Schudson, University of California at San Diego
"Getting Into Print will long be the book about how academic editors choose the titles they sponsor. Even experienced editors and authors will find new insights here and revealing comparisons with decision-making in other kinds of organizations."—Edward Tenner, Los Angeles Times Book Review
"Getting Into Print is an unusually outstanding ethnographic study in that it reflects the evocative richness of detail associated with the ethnographic approach while simultaneously maintaining a clear-headed, analytical distance from the subject that allows for a meaningful theoretical contribution. Powell is an astute ethnographer who presents a vital and compelling 'insider's view' of the decision-making process in scholarly publishing, making this book fascinating reading for all those involved in the 'publish-or-perish' syndrome."—Barbara Levitt, American Journal of Sociology
If your success at work or in school depends on your ability to communicate persuasively in writing, you’ll want to get Good with Words. Based on a course that law students at the University of Michigan and the University of Chicago have called "outstanding," "A-M-A-Z-I-N-G," and "the best course I have ever taken," the book brings together a collection of concepts, exercises, and examples that have also helped improve the advocacy skills of people pursuing careers in many other fields—from marketing, to management, to medicine.
“There is nobody better than Patrick Barry when it comes to breaking down how to write and edit. His techniques don’t just make you sound better. They make you think better. I’m jealous of the people who get to take his classes.”
—Professor Lisa Bernstein, University of Chicago Law School and Oxford University Center for Corporate Regulation
“Whenever I use Patrick Barry’s materials in my class, the student reaction is the same: ‘We want more of them.’”
—Professor Dave Babbe, UCLA School of Law
“Working one-on-one with Patrick Barry should be mandatory for all lawyers, regardless of seniority. This book is the next best thing.”
—Purvi Patel, Partner at Morrison Foerster LLP
“I am proud to say that, when it comes to writing, I speak Patrick Barry. What I mean is that I use, pretty much every day, the writing vocabulary and techniques he offers in this great book. So read it. Share it. And then, if you can, teach it. There are a lot of good causes in the world that could use a new generation of great advocates.”
—Professor Bridgette Carr, Assistant Dean of Strategic Initiatives and Director of the Human Trafficking Clinic at the University of Michigan Law School
“Patrick Barry is my secret weapon. I use his techniques every time I write, and I also teach them to all my students.”
—Professor Shai Dothan, Copenhagen Faculty of Law
“I know the materials in this book were originally created for lawyers and law students. But I actually find them really helpful for doctors as well, given that a lot of what I do every day depends on effective communication. There is a tremendous upside to becoming ‘Good with Words.”
—Dr. Ramzi Abboud, Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis.
A Guide to Editing Middle English
Vincent McCarren and Douglas Moffat, Editors University of Michigan Press, 1998 Library of Congress PR275.T45G85 1998 | Dewey Decimal 820.9001
Those who undertake a scholarly edition of a Middle English text have until now had no general guide for their work. All who study English literary works must rely on editions at some stage, and this volume will provide them with many perspectives on the formation of these necessary scholarly tools. Editors of texts in other medieval languages and indeed all those engaged with questions of scholarly editing--whether practical, historical, or theoretical--will also find important contributions in this volume.
A Guide to Editing Middle English collects nineteen essays and three appendices written by leading text editors in Middle English. A number of essays deal primarily with theoretical questions, while others offer assessments of historical developments in editing, especially in regard to the most well-known Middle English works. Most of the essays deal with practical matters: how to use a computer in preparing and presenting an edition; how to form and arrange the standard parts of an edition; and how to handle problems presented by texts in areas such as science, astrology, and cooking. The three appendices provide bibliographical references to dictionaries, facsimiles, and manuscript description.
Contributors, in addition to the editors, are Peter Baker, Richard Beadle, Norman Blake, Helen Cooper, A. S. G. Edwards, Jennifer Fellows, David C. Greetham, Mary Hamel, Constance Heiatt, Nicholas Jacobs, Geroge Keiser, Peter J. Lucas, Maldwyn Mills, Linne Mooney, and Peter Robinson.
The many and varied perspectives of this volume will make it of interest to readers of Middle English texts, those involved in textual scholarship, and those interested in editing in general. It occupies a unique place in the field of Middle English studies and will likely remain a standard reference tool for a long time.
Vincent McCarren is a Research Associate with the Middle English Dictionary at the University of Michigan. Douglas Moffat, formerly with the Middle English Dictionary, is a Development Officer with the University of Michigan.
Most readers think of a written work as producing its meaning through the words it contains. But what is the significance of the detailed and beautiful illuminations on a medieval manuscript? Of the deliberately chosen typefaces in a book of poems by Yeats? Of the design and layout of text in an electronic format? How does the material form of a work shape its understanding in a particular historical moment, in a particular culture?
The material features of texts as physical artifacts--their "bibliographic codes" --have over the last decade excited increasing interest in a variety of disciplines. The Iconic Page in Manuscript, Print, and Digital Culture gathers essays by an extraordinarily distinguished group of scholars to offer the most comprehensive examination of these issues yet, drawing on examples from literature, history, the fine arts, and philosophy.
Fittingly, the volume contains over two dozen illustrations that display the iconic features of the works analyzed--from Alfred the Great's Boethius through medieval manuscripts to the philosophy of C. S. Peirce and the dustjackets on works by F. Scott Fitzgerald and William Styron.
The Iconic Page in Manuscript, Print, and Digital Culture will be groundbreaking reading for scholars in a wide range of fields.
George Bornstein is C. A. Patrides Professor of English, University of Michigan. Theresa Tinkle is Associate Professor of English, University of Michigan.
The Margins of the Text
D. C. Greetham, Editor University of Michigan Press, 1997 Library of Congress PR21.M29 1997 | Dewey Decimal 820.9
These days, the margins have become a powerful position from which to mount a critique of contemporary society, culture, and text. From gay and lesbian studies to postcolonial or "subaltern" criticism, formerly marginalized perspectives have brought provocative new insights into many fields of inquiry. But until comparatively recently, the extremely powerful, even culture-defining, discourse of textual editing has been immune to such influences.
The Margins of the Text is the first attempt to collect a body of essays concerned with specific aspects of the marginal as they relate to text. The volume is divided into two sections. The first part assembles essays concerned with the margins of textual discourse and explores the function of discourses not previously recognized as significant to scholarly editing, such as those of class, race, gender, and sexual orientation. The second section attends to the textual margins in the bibliographical sense--the margins of the book, in which there has been so much recent interest. The two parts of the collection are clearly interrelated, since both study the effects of margins as a form of cultural discourse.
As a whole, the collection spans several periods (medieval, Renaissance, eighteenth-century to modern), several disciplines (drama, literature, art history, politics, and philosophy), and offers a wide-ranging consideration of a single topic as it is manifested in various genres, formats, and media. The contributors are among the most respected textual/critical theorists in their fields.
The Margins of the Text will become a standard reference in the field, and will be read profitably by culture critics and social historians as well as textual critics and editors.
D. C. Greetham is Professor of English and Medieval Studies, City University of New York Graduate School.
Books on writing generally offer prescriptions and proscriptions about this "craft so hard to learn" instead of evidence. But in A Piece of Work Woodruff's incisive questions guide five writers—Tobias Wolff, Tess Gallagher, Robert Coles, Joyce Carol Oates, and Donald Hall—through specific examples that enable the reader to see how good writing becomes better. From the first draft through various revisions and finally to the printed version of a single piece of each author's work, Woodruff traces the full course of the revision process.
Proofs of Genius: Collected Editions from the American Revolution to the Digital Age is the first extensive study of the collected edition as an editorial genre within American literary history. Unlike editions of an author’s “selected works” or thematic anthologies, which clearly indicate the presence of non-authorial editorial intervention, collected editions have typically been arranged to imply an unmediated documentary completeness. By design, the collected edition obscures its own role in shaping the cultural reception of the author.
In Proofs of Genius, Amanda Gailey argues that decisions to re-edit major authorial corpora are acts of canon-formation in miniature that indicate more foundational shifts in the way a culture views its literature and itself. By combining a theoretically-informed approach with a broad historical view of collected editions from the late eighteenth century to the present (including the rise of digital editions), Gailey fills a gap in the textual scholarship of the editing history of major figures like Emily Dickinson and Walt Whitman and of the American literary canon itself.
Representing Modernist Texts seeks to expose, and then to bridge, the gap between contemporary textual scholarship and the critical and theoretical study of modernist texts. Modernist critics and scholars have for too long consigned textual problems to work from earlier periods and largely ignored them in creating successive waves of avantgarde critical theory designed first to champion, and more recently to challenge, modernist literature itself. And yet, as the controversy around Hans Walter Gabler’s edition of Ulysses has made clear, twentieth-century texts are deeply problematic at the physical as well as the interpretive level.
In Representing Modernist Texts, thirteen internationally known scholars provide major explorations of the topic in the work of particular writers. The issues they raise include the construction of a writer’s canon and the effect of newly available “uncanonical” manuscript materials on existing works and orderings; the replacement of the older idea of a fixed, stable text by a more contemporary notion of the text as process; and the interrogation by advanced textual theory of many of the same notions of “author,” “intention,” and “stability of the text” questioned by advanced literary theory.
"It is with no desire or hope to promote a correct or superior form of textuality, with no desire to correct a so-called interpretive or editorial textual abuse, nor any attempt to prevent anyone from doing anything imaginable with texts or books that I have undertaken this book. . . ." So writes Peter Shillingsburg in his introduction to this series of meditations on the possibilities of deriving "meaning" from the texts we read.
Shillingsburg argues that as humans we are and always will be interested in the past, in what was meant, in what was revealed inadvertently by a text--and that is all to the good. But we learn more and can compare notes better when we understand the principles that govern the ways we read. Resisting Texts approaches crucial questions about the practice of textual editing and literary criticism by posing questions in the form "If we take such and such to be the goal of our reading, then what will follow from that assumption?"
With humor and a lively imagination, Shillingsburg takes the reader on a fresh theoretical investigation of communication, understanding and misunderstanding, and textual satisfactions, drawing examples from Thackeray, Wordsworth, Melville, and others.
Resisting Texts will appeal to all who enjoy the varieties of critical approaches to the written word.
Peter L. Shillingsburg is Professor of English, University of North Texas.
Editing is an invisible art where the very best work goes undetected. Editors strive to create books that are enlightening, seamless, and pleasurable to read, all while giving credit to the author. This makes it all the more difficult to truly understand the range of roles they inhabit while shepherding a project from concept to publication.
In What Editors Do, Peter Ginna gathers essays from twenty-seven leading figures in book publishing about their work. Representing both large houses and small, and encompassing trade, textbook, academic, and children’s publishing, the contributors make the case for why editing remains a vital function to writers—and readers—everywhere.
Ironically for an industry built on words, there has been a scarcity of written guidance on how to actually approach the work of editing. This book will serve as a compendium of professional advice and will be a resource both for those entering the profession (or already in it) and for those outside publishing who seek an understanding of it. It sheds light on how editors acquire books, what constitutes a strong author-editor relationship, and the editor’s vital role at each stage of the publishing process—a role that extends far beyond marking up the author’s text.
This collection treats editing as both art and craft, and also as a career. It explores how editors balance passion against the economic realities of publishing. What Editors Do shows why, in the face of a rapidly changing publishing landscape, editors are more important than ever.
Joseph A. Dane examines the history of the books we now know as "Chaucer’s"—a history that includes printers and publishers, editors, antiquarians, librarians, and book collectors. The Chaucer at issue here is not a medieval poet, securely bound within his fourteenth-century context, but rather the product of the often chaotic history of the physical books that have been produced and marketed in his name.
This history involves a series of myths about Chaucer—a reformist Chaucer, a realist Chaucer, a political and critical Chaucer who seems oddly like us. It also involves more self-reflective critical myths—the conveniently coherent editorial tradition that leads progressively to modern editions of Chaucer. Dane argues that the material background of these myths remains irreducibly and often amusingly recalcitrant. The great Chaucer monuments—his editions, his book, and even his tomb—defy our efforts to stabilize them with our critical descriptions and transcriptions.
Part I concentrates on the production and reception of the Chaucerian book from the sixteenth to the eighteenth centuries, a period dominated by the folio "Complete Works" and a period that culminates in what Chaucerians have consistently (if uncritically) defined as the worst Chaucer edition of 1721. Part II considers the increasing ambivalence of modern editors and critics in relation to the book of Chaucer, and the various attempts of modern scholars to provide alternative sources of authority.
In the last few decades it has become abundantly clear how important is the "archaeology of the manuscript-book" in literary and textual scholarship. This method offers essential contexts for an editor's understanding of a manuscript, and helps to set the manuscript in the historical matrix in which the work was first brought out and understood.
This group of papers, edited by two well-known scholars of the medieval world, offers both general and particular approaches to the issues surrounding manuscripts produced in the medieval habit of "miscellany," works of seemingly diverse natures bound together into one volume. Julia Boffey investigates how certain poetical miscellanies came to be assembled, for example, while Sylvia Huot suggests that the miscellany had many different sorts of function and significance. Siegfried Wenzel considers a taxonomy of such collections, and A. S. G. Edwards' paper considers Bodleian Selden B.24 as an example of how the notions of canon, authorship, and attribution might come into play. Ann Matter's final chapter offers the notion that what we call "miscellanies" are likely to have an internal logic that we have been trained to miss, but can come to understand. Other contributors are Ralph Hanna III, Georg Knauer, Stephen Nichols, James J. O'Donnell, and Barbara A. Shailor.
Because The Whole Book deals not only with the content of miscellanies but also with contemporary literary principles, this volume will be of interest to a wide circle of literary critics and historians, as well as to students of the survival of literature and of cultural values.
Stephen G. Nichols is James M. Beall Professor of French and Chair of the Department of French, The Johns Hopkins University. Siegfried Wenzel is Professor of English, University of Pennsylvania.
The Work of Revision
Hannah Sullivan Harvard University Press, 2013 Library of Congress PS221.S86 2013 | Dewey Decimal 810.9005
Revision seems to be an intrinsic part of good writing. But Hannah Sullivan argues that we inherit our faith in redrafting from the modernist period. Examining changes made in manuscripts, typescripts, and proofs by Eliot, Joyce, Woolf, and others, she shows how rewriting shapes literary style, and how the impulse to touch up can go too far.