Title Background

Redefining Critical Editions

Redefining Critical Editions

Editing, understood as the “critical reconstruction of the ideal text, with the stages of the reconstruction documented in complex apparatus,” has been challenged in a dispute of what constitutes such an ideal text, as well as of the importance of authorial revisions and attractive readings found in apparently unauthoritative manuscripts. Critical editing is both a method and a presentation; by both criteria, the Manly-Rickert edition of the CT and the Kane-Donaldson edition of PPl B text are unsatisfactory. K-D, relying on hand-sorting, felt that the stages of transmutation from one actual text to another were irrecoverable. But computer technology can yield a reconstruction of the historical stages through which a text passed into all extant manuscripts, and will also make practicable a set of “fluid editions” for which editor and reader become partners in understanding, both with access to the same materials.

Volume

The Digital Word: Text-Based Computing in the Humanities, ed. George P. Landow and Paul Delany. Cambridge, MA and London: MIT Press, 1993. 271-91.

Author

Robinson, Peter M. W.