Some Observations on “Structural Annotation”
The appearance of the two Penn Commentary volumes by Galloway and Barney, and of volume 2 of Schmidt’s Parallel-Text edition, enables a testing of Ralph Hanna’s view that one should aim for ‘a total interpretive view of the text’. Yet the view of these commentators ‘is something less than “total”‘: ‘there are embedded assumptions about the number of versions and their relation to each other’, and ‘there are some important structural elements that become submerged in the mass of information’ (p. 5). Mann focuses on the treatment of the angel’s address to the king (B Prologue) by Galloway and Schmidt, in which the meaning of pietas as ‘mercy’ or ‘pity’ is not emphasized, and that of Christ’s Harrowing of Hell (B 18) by Barney, who does not notice L’s drawing upon the definition of vox as ‘broken air’: both oversights prevent recognition of major elements of the poetic structure of PPl. There is no such thing as ‘a total interpretive view of the text’.