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Personal Writings and Textual Scholarship

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Edited by João Dionísio

Until recently, writings of a private nature have been neglected in literary and textual studies. There are two main reasons for this: the scarcity of pre-modern witnesses of this type of textual production and, in contrast, the over-abundance of material in contemporary writers’ archives. Although in more recent times there has been a marked shift towards the study of private and personal writings, important issues remain to be studied. In the light of genetic criticism and in the context of the broadening attention of textual scholarship to all matters relating to textual production, these texts have acquired a new status, but the legal, philological and historical questions they raise have not been systematically addressed.
The new interest of textual scholarship in the processes of creation and dissemination of texts offers an opportunity to reflect more thoroughly on the nature of these documents: on the role they play as witnesses to specific literary or para-literary genres (e.g. letters, diaries), on their significance in circumstances of political repression, and as part of the textual genetic process. This collection of essays includes articles that deal, through heterogeneous approaches, with different aspects of Dutch, English, French, Lithuanian, Portuguese and Spanish written cultures.
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João Dionísio

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This article reflects on the concept of authority by taking into account the writing and transmission history of Frei Luís de Sousa, the most influential play by the Romanic Portuguese author Almeida Garrett (1799-1854). Following Siegfried Scheibe’s view on this concept, I argue that all extant versions of the play are authorized and that, in different degrees, all of them offer resistance to Garrett’s intent on controlling the text. When, towards the end of his life, Garrett decided to establish his literary archive, his attitudes and thinking support the Scheibe’s notion that all “discarded stages, transitional and no longer of interest” exist on an equal footing with the printed text (Scheibe 1995, 175). This non-hierarchical approach to the extant versions is the basis for an assessment of a critical edition of the play published in 1943 and of another on-going edition of Garrett’s text.

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João Dionísio

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This essay examines the connection between nation-building and editorial activity in Portugal towards the end of the eighteenth century. It focuses on the hypothesis that the Lisbon 1755 earthquake (i) fuelled the will to publish unknown preserved documents which, should another earthquake occur, could be utterly destroyed and thereby (ii) speeded up the development of palaeography and diplomatics as core disciplines in the preservation of textual information. The article focuses on José Correia da Serra, who between 1790 and 1793 directed the Royal Academy of Sciences’ edition of a Collecção de Livros Ineditos da Historia Portugueza. Special attention is given to the criteria behind the selection of the texts which were edited in the Collecção, the rationale of this edition, and its reception. Taken together, these different aspects of Correia da Serra’s work suggest that already in his time and in the years to come nation building was carried out regardless of scholarly editing.

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Series:

Edited by João Dionísio

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Series:

Edited by João Dionísio

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Series:

João Dionísio

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Series:

João Dionísio