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.
Genre Marita Mathijsen: Letters as Mediators between Private and Public Space Maria Virgílio Cambraia Lopes: From the Private to the Public: Some Remarks on Bordalo Pinheiro’s Correspondence in Text and Images Bert Van Raemdonck: Licensed to Sneak: Why We Should (Be Able to) Read Writers’ Secret Diaries and Letters, and Why Sometimes We Are Not
Police States Vanda Anastácio: Written in Prison Mikas Vaicekauskas: Lithuanian Handwritten Books in the Period of the Ban on the Lithuanian Press (1864–1904) Paulius V. Subačius: Particularly Public and Very Private Ángel Rodríguez Gallardo: It is True that They Wrote It Verónica Sierra Blas: “Reconstructing Silences”: On the Study and Editing of Private Letters by Spanish Children Evacuated to Russia during the Spanish Civil War
Writing Processes Jerónimo Pizarro: Pessoa’s Notebooks: Windows to Crowded Streets Ivo Castro: From Print to Script Elsa Pereira: Hæc Subtilis Ars Inveniendi: Considerations of João Penha’s Literary Archive Kelly Basílio: The Genetic “I” in Émile Zola
Second Culture Rip Cohen: Angelo Colocci’s Crosses and a Text of Airas Carpancho David Atkinson: The Secret Life of Ballad Manuscripts
Reviews Notes on Contributors