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Editor: Wim van Mierlo
This volume is the 10th issue of Variants. In keeping with the mission of the European Society for Textual Scholarship, the articles are richly interdisciplinary and transnational. They bring to bear a wide range of topics and disciplines on the field of textual scholarship: historical linguistics, digital scholarly editing, classical philology, Dutch, English, Finnish and Swedish Literature, publishing traditions in Japan, book history, cultural history and folklore. The questions that are explored — what texts are worth editing? what is the nature of the relationship between text, work, document and book? what is a critical digital edition? — all return to fundamental issues that have been at the heart of the editorial discipline for decades. With refreshing insight they assess the increasingly hybrid nature of the theoretical considerations and practical methodologies employed by textual scholars, while reasserting the relevance and need for producing scholarly editions, whether in print or digital, and continuing advanced research in bibliographical codes, textual transmissions, genetic dossiers, the fluidity of texts and other such subjects that connect textual scholarship with broader investigations into our nations’ literary culture and written heritage.
Editor: Wim van Mierlo
In the last decades, the emphasis in textual scholarship has moved onto creation, production, process, collaboration; onto the material manifestations of a work; onto multiple rather than single versions; onto reception and book history. Textual scholarship now includes not only textual editing, but any form of scholarship that looks at the materiality of text, of writing, of reading, and of the book.
The essays in this collection explore many questions, about methodology and theory, arising from this widening scope of textual scholarship. The range of texts discussed, from Sanskrit epic via Medieval Latin commentary through English and Scottish Ballads to the plays of Samuel Beckett and the stories of Guimarães Rosa, testifies to the vigour of the discipline. The range of texts is matched by a range of approach: from theoretical discussion of how text ‘happens’, to analysis of issues of book design and censorship, the connections between literary and textual studies, exploration of the links between reception and commodification in George Eliot, and between information theory and paratext. Through this diversity of subject and approach, a common theme emerges: the need to look further for common ground from which to continue the debate from a comparative perspective.
This is the 11th volume of Variants: the Journal of the European Society for Textual Scholarship. Founded in 2002, Variants provides an international, interdisciplinary and comparative forum for the theory and practice of textual scholarship without restriction as to language, region or period. With its traditionally strong focus on textual editing in the electronic era, this issue has no less than four articles on the frameworks, principles and aspects of state of the art digital editions and best practice in the use of computers in scholarly editing. Other contributions are devoted to the sociology of texts, authorial agency, modern codicology, and the problems of editing large text traditions in English, German, Lithuanian, Portuguese and Spanish literature and history.