Textual Criticism and Middle English Texts.
Incidental references (52-60 and passim): In noting the absence of an “authorized recension” of PPl, Rene Wellek and Austin Warren in effect equated “authorial” for “authorized,” in a fashion consistent with humanist textual criticism. So too with Kane, who holds the ahistorical assumption that a single conception of author, work, and text obtains throughout all literary periods and provenances. New Critical principles of the individuality, ambiguity, and compression of a great poet’s style, as well as the presumption that a poem will be enlarged and enhanced in revision, are historically problematic. K-D’s insistence that variants be treated on an individual basis parallels the New Critical separation of texts from their cultural contexts.
Rev. John Thompson, MLR 91 (1996): 954-55; Bella Millett, SAC 18 (1996): 243-47.