University of Virginia Library

Search this document 


collapse section 
collapse section 
collapse section 
collapse section2. 
collapse section 
collapse section 
collapse section 
collapse section 
collapse section 
collapse section 
collapse section 
collapse section2. 
collapse section 
collapse section 
collapse section 
collapse section 
collapse section 
collapse section 
collapse section 

collapse section 



The Center for Scholarly Editions: An Introductory Statement (1977), also printed in PMLA, 92 (1977), 583-597. See also Peter L. Shillingsburg, "Critical Editing and the Center for Scholarly Editions," Scholarly Publishing, 9 (1977-78), 31-40.


This spirit of maintaining "close and cordial relations" among all editorial "coworkers" was stressed by Arthur S. Link in his presidential address before the first annual meeting of the Association; see "Where We Stand Now and Where We Might Go," in the ADE's Newsletter, 2, no. 1 (February 1980), 1-4.


It plans to reprint CEAA or other scholarly texts when they are available; but when they are not it will reprint the texts of first editions (or other historic texts of significance, as appropriate in particular instances), explaining to its readers exactly what texts they are being offered and why.


Cited in note 35 below.


"Greg's Theory of Copy-Text and the Editing of American Literature," Studies in Bibliography, 28 (1975), 167-229; reprinted in Selected Studies in Bibliography (1979), pp. 245-307.


As before, I am surveying essays that raise general theoretical points, not reviews of individual editions or discussions that examine specific emendations. There has been a larger number of rigorous review essays in this period, however, that examine particular editions in depth: see, for instance, those by Don L. Cook and Wayne R. Kime in Review, 1 (1979), 13-27, 105-122, and by Donald H. Reiman in JEGP, 73 (1974), 250-260.


This paper, written with advice on statistics from David R. King, was published in Language & Texts: The Nature of Linguistic Evidence, ed. Herbert H. Paper (1975), pp. 123-146.


Proof, 1 (1971), 122-155. I have discussed this essay in SB, 28 (1975), 211-219 (Selected Studies, pp. 289-297).


"The textual editor . . . is engaged in policing what he judges to be the randomness which in fact is inseparable from the process of textual transmission" (p. 129).


Some further remarks describing his disappointment with the Browning edition are quoted in Donald H. Reiman's thorough review of volumes 3 and 4 in Victorian Poetry, 12 (1974), 86-96.


It is not clear why Peckham believes that collating machines have served "to increase the amount of reliable data beyond the point at which it can be used" (p. 134). Indeed, his whole discussion of how "scientific instruments" serve to "undermine the theory responsible" for their invention seems a perverse way of describing how inductive investigations proceed.


Similarly, he objects to the "establishment theory of bibliographical analysis . . . that the history of the printing of a book can be recovered," because "the intrusion of randomness in the complex of interacting behaviors involved in printing a book is horrendous" (p. 131). But the "recovery" of any piece of history is always subject to modification by the "recovery" of still further data.


I should note, parenthetically, that another part of Peckham's article criticizes the typography and design of the CEAA editions, calling them "absurdities" (p. 137) and claiming among other things that "the format of most of the CEAA editions is too big, too typographically voluptuous," to serve as the basis for inexpensive photo-offset reprints (p. 138). There is no reason, of course, why large pages cannot be photographically reduced: an example is the use of the Northwestern-Newberry Edition of Melville's Redburn in the paperback series of Rinehart Editions (1971).


Resources for American Literary Study, 4 (1974), 131-144.


See his comments (pp. 142-143) on Hamlin Hill's "Who Killed Mark Twain?", American Literary Realism, 7 (1974), 119-124.


Later in the essay (p. 142) he deplores certain other arguments as "the angry kneejerk reactions of Mumford and Wilson." Reference to Mumford's and Wilson's pieces, and some commentary on them, can be found in SB, 28 (1975), 198-201 (Selected Studies, pp. 276-279).


Baender places in a footnote to this discussion a variation of perhaps the most common cliché of criticism of the CEAA, the charge of rigidity of dogmatism. Here the CEAA inspectors are said to have derived from Greg "dogmas which are theirs, not his" (p. 135, n. 5). Baender's criticism on this point is more enlightened than many others', for he does not attribute the dogmatism to CEAA policy but rather to the approach of particular inspectors.


Published in Editing British and American Literature, 1880-1920, ed. Eric W. Domville (1976), pp. 65-76. Domville briefly sums up the paper on pp. 4-5.


I have made further comments on this question in "The Editorial Problem of Final Authorial Intention," SB, 29 (1976), 167-211 (Selected Studies, pp. 309-353).


Specifically, he says that what implies the existence of that routine is the metaphor of pouring old wine into new bottles. Presumably the allusion is to the title of Fredson Bowers's paper ("Old Wine in New Bottles: Problems of Machine Printing") at the second (1966) Toronto conference, published in Editing Nineteenth Century Texts, ed. John M. Robson (1967), pp. 9-36. But Bowers's paper is aimed at showing how the bibliographical analysis involved in establishing a text must deal with different kinds of complexities in different periods depending on changing printing technology. The metaphor of his title is not used to suggest "the existence of a proven editorial routine"; Katz's opening sentence ("Good editing is not just a matter of pouring old wine into new bottles") is thus not a refutation of anything asserted in Bowers's paper.


SB, 28 (1975), 231-264. An earlier version of this paper was read at a conference on editorial problems held at the Villa Serbelloni, Bellagio, in September 1973, under the directorship of Hans Walter Gabler.


Zeller states that "the motives behind the emergence and elaboration of the new Germanist theory are not the same as those implicit in such objections as have been raised against the application of the Greg-Bowers principles to the editions of modern American authors" (p. 231). Nevertheless, in dealing with the nature of authorial intention and the relations among versions of a work, it confronts some of the same questions that have often been raised in criticizing Greg's rationale and the CEAA.


I have commented on Zeller's paper in more detail on pp. 329-331 of "Problems and Accomplishments in the Editing of the Novel," Studies in the Novel, 7 (1975), 323-360. The German position as represented at the Bellagio conference is also alluded to by G. E. Bentley, Jr., in the introduction to the volume he edited containing the papers from another conference held six weeks later, the 1973 Toronto editorial conference—Editing Eighteenth Century Novels (1975), p. 7. Bentley contrasts the German practice of preserving "the copytext inviolate" with the French approach, represented by Roger Laufer (who participated in both the Bellagio and Toronto conferences), of modernizing a text "to make it accessible to students and scholars who are not specialists." Laufer's Toronto paper ("From Publishing to Editing Gil Blas de Santillane: An Evaluation of the Rival Claims of Practical and Ideal Editing," pp. 31-48) criticizes Greg's distinction between substantives and accidentals, misleadingly asserting, "Greg's theory comes really to saying that accidentals are so trivial that an author hardly ever bothers to revise them while emending words or sentences, but, nevertheless, the original accidentals should be preserved at all costs" (p. 37). Laufer believes that an editor should attempt to distinguish between significant and insignificant spelling and punctuation, retaining the significant and modernizing the other. But nothing that Laufer says about the nature of written language refutes the standard arguments against modernizing. He wishes his edition to be "contemporary" (p. 38), but serious readers will feel that modernizing puts an additional barrier between them and the historic text they want to understand as fully as possible and is thus self-defeating. (For a summary statement regarding the inappropriateness of modernizing in scholarly endeavor, see SB, 31 [1978], 48-50, or Selected Studies, pp. 498-500.)


My survey of textual work on the novel, referred to in note 23 above, appears in this issue, as does a useful list, "Textual Studies in the Novel: A Selected Checklist, 1950-74" (pp. 445-471), compiled by James T. Cox, Margaret Putnam, and Marvin Williams.


This "Forum" is made up of the following short contributions: Bruce Bebb and Hershel Parker, "Freehafer on Greg and the CEAA: Secure Footing and 'Substantial Shortfalls'" (pp. 391-394), which calls Freehafer's comments on Greg "thoughtless compared to what other scholars have been saying in recent years" but finds valuable his "criticism of CEAA textual policies"; Vinton A. Dearing, "Textual Criticism Today: A Brief Survey" (pp. 394-398); Thomas L. McHaney, "The Important Questions Are Seldom Raised" (pp. 399-401); Morse Peckham, "Notes on Freehafer and the CEAA" (pp. 402-404), which states that Freehafer's "strictures are not as severe as they could be, nor is his analysis as penetrating as it should be"; and G. T. Tanselle, "Two Basic Distinctions: Theory and Practice, Text and Apparatus" (pp. 404-406).


American Scholar, 45 (1975-76), 733-751 [i.e., 37-55].


I have discussed parts of Shaw's article in more detail in two other places: in "The Editing of Historical Documents," SB, 31 (1978), 7-8, 54-55 (Selected Studies, pp. 457-458, 504-505); and in "External Fact as an Editorial Problem," SB, 32 (1979), 31-34 (Selected Studies, pp. 385-388). For Fredson Bowers's comment on Shaw's piece as "the low water mark to date," employing "the Big Lie technique" beyond "all bounds of decency," see "Scholarship and Editing" (note 31 below), p. 164, n. 4.


Proof, 4 (1975), 31-76; reprinted in his Essays in Bibliography, Text, and Editing (1975), pp. 488-528. A shorter version of this paper was his contribution to the Bellagio conference in 1973 (cf. notes 21 and 23 above).


In the light of all the controversy over exaggerated claims of definitiveness, one should note that Bowers here describes "as authoritative a reconstruction . . . as the documents allow." A scholar is limited to the available evidence and knows that further evidence may later become available; thus the goal of a scholarly critical edition is "to be the most authoritative and comprehensive that can be contrived for its time and place in the history of scholarship" (p. 528).


Todd Bender does not perhaps take Bowers's arguments for eclectic texts sufficiently into account when he talks about the "arbitrary limits" of a "printed code system" that allows only one reading to stand at each point in the text; but he does make a number of interesting points about the way in which a text in electronic form can hold all variants simultaneously, and he argues that such a text does not amount simply to a collection of documents but that it is instead "the primary form of the work," for a work often implies a "range of possibilities." See "Literary Texts in Electronic Storage: The Editorial Potential," Computers and the Humanities, 10 (1976), 193-199. A good survey of the literature relating to computers and editing appeared soon afterward: T. H. Howard-Hill, "Computer and Mechanical Aids to Editing," Proof, 5 (1977), 217-235.


PBSA, 70 (1976), 161-188. Another essay of Bowers's during 1976, intended to provide a general summary for a much broader audience, is "Recovering the Author's Intentions," Pages, 1 (1976), 218-227.


One of his comments on Greg's rationale may perhaps prove misleading. He says that when a decision about verbal variants "seems indifferent to critical analysis, Greg suggested that the odds should favor the editorial adoption of the later reading since it appeared in a text that had general authority for its substantives" (p. 177). Greg of course, like McKerrow, did recognize that the authority for spelling and punctuation might lie in a different text from one that provides authoritative verbal revisions; but to suggest the adoption of all indifferent substantive variants from a text containing recognizable authorial revisions would amount to considering that revised text the copy-text for substantives, and Greg departed further than this from McKerrow's idea of placing the authority for all substantives in a text containing any authorial revisions. According to Greg, "a later variant that is either completely indifferent or manifestly inferior, or for the substitution of which no motive can be suggested, should be treated as fortuitous and refused admission to the text" ("The Rationale of Copy-Text," in Greg's Collected Papers, ed. J.C. Maxwell [1966], pp. 387-388). For Greg, the copy-text is the text to fall back on in the case of all truly indifferent variants, substantives as well as those in punctuation and spelling.


Greg specifically takes up Every Man in His Humour in the paragraph following the one in which these phrases occur, calling it the "classical example" of what he had just described in general terms.


As Bowers points out, "It is obvious from some of his cautionary statements about his own rationale that Greg would have agreed"—agreed, that is, that the "mechanical measurement of authority in the accidentals must give way to the special conditions of an author's revision of these same features on an equal footing with his revision of the substantives" (p. 181).


"The CEAA and Modern Textual Editing," Library, 5th ser., 32 (1977), 61-74.


His essay is not, in other words, part of what Bowers calls "an extremely contentious defense of the status quo and the familiar" that has characterized many reviews of CEAA volumes ("Scholarship and Editing" [note 31 above], p. 164, n. 4).


Obviously the spelling and punctuation of texts many steps removed from their authors (such as those dealt with by classical and Biblical scholars) have a different significance from those in autograph manuscripts or editions (or copies) derived directly from the manuscripts.


Which Davis expresses his indebtedness to.


I have no desire to claim any priority in this matter and in fact do not know who may have first looked at Greg's rationale in this manner. I simply wish to repeat here, as another way of stating the same thing, what I said in 1975 in commenting on Peckham's similar criticism of Greg's distinction between substantives and accidentals: "What Greg meant by a 'practical' distinction is one which, however mistaken it may be, has in fact operated to govern human behavior; and, since the editor is concerned with analyzing the behavior of certain individuals, such a distinction may be useful to him. . . . What I take Greg to be saying, then, is that the editor distinguishes substantives and accidentals not because he believes that he is making a valid conceptual distinction between two elements in written language but because the distinction is one which is likely to have been made by the persons who have been involved in the transmission of any given text (and which therefore may be useful in segregating different features of that text which may have been accorded different treatment)." See SB, 28 (1975), 213-214 (Selected Studies, pp. 291-292). Cf. the earlier comment, in the summary of Greg, that "the focus is pragmatic—on the habits of individuals" (p. 174 [252]); or the view that Greg's position is based on a generalization about "the behavior of human beings in dealing with written language" (p. 180 [258]).


A very different use of the word "substantive" is carefully looked at by Bowers in "McKerrow, Greg, and 'Substantive Edition,'" Library, 5th ser., 33 (1978), 83-107.


If it is accorded to the later one, the question arises whether it should be accorded for spelling and punctuation as well as for words; to do so would of course involve the belief not only that compositors more accurately reproduced copy but also that authors normally made revisions in punctuation and spelling.


I use the phrase "compositorial error" because that is the one used by Davis; but this term should properly include intentional alterations made by compositors or others in the printing or publishing house. Such alterations would not be errors in the usual sense, since they would have been made intentionally. The appropriate counterpart to authorial revision, in other words, is nonauthorial alteration, whether that alteration results from error or deliberate change.


Davis's quotation of Greg's statement criticizing the view "That if a scribe makes a mistake he will inevitably produce nonsense" (p. 71) is not to the purpose since decisions regarding indifferent readings involve much more subtle distinctions than whether or not a reading makes sense. The passage in Greg where this statement is made occurs near the beginning of Greg's essay (p. 375) and criticizes the mechanical approach, derived from Lachmann, of considering it "scientific" to follow a copy-text whenever its readings "were not manifestly impossible." The main line of the essay, of course, is to set forth a rationale for departing from the copy-text, even when its readings are possible, if one finds later variants that can be judged authorial revisions; the rationale does indeed involve retaining copy-text readings when the variants are not convincingly authorial, but that is not the same as saying that they are to be retained whenever they are not "manifestly impossible." What Davis quotes as Greg's criticism of adhering to the copy-text when variants are indifferent is actually Greg's criticism of an earlier approach: the idea that one should follow all the readings, except those that are manifestly impossible, of the text that is "generally more correct than any other." The CEAA procedure Davis criticizes is in no way a relapse to this position.


He is wrong in thinking that definitiveness is "implicit in the notion of a seal of approval" (p. 73): the discussions leading to the use of the indefinite article in the wording of the CEAA seal ("An Approved Text") recognized that more than one approvable text of a work could exist. (Whether or not any kind of seal should be used is a different matter, about which there has never been complete agreement, even among CEAA editors.)


SB, 31 (1978), 90-161.


"Multiple Authority: New Problems and Concepts of Copy-Text," Library, 5th ser., 27 (1972), 81-115.


At various times Bowers argues for applying the same kind of editorial judgment to variants in accidentals as to variants in substantives. Cf. his comment from pp. 128-129 quoted earlier, or his remark (p. 128, n. 31) that Greg concentrated "on editorial freedom to deal with variant substantives" but had "little recognition of the comparable opportunities that exist with accidentals." Bowers is surely right to make this point, and in what follows I shall take up both accidentals and substantives as equally relevant to a discussion of fidelity in textual transmission.


The argument is sometimes made that the imposition of standard forms, when they exist, is something that authors expect. But this argument moves into the question of authorial intention, which I shall touch on below. At present the concern is solely with how much of the author's practice survives in print.


See, in particular, John Bush Jones, "Victorian 'Readers' and Modern Editors: Attitudes and Accidentals Revisited," PBSA, 71 (1977), 49-59. See also James Thorpe, Principles of Textual Criticism (1972), pp. 151-164; and SB, 28 (1975), 222, n. 90 (Selected Studies, p. 300). Hugh Williamson, in the Times Literary Supplement, 15 September 1978, pp. 1017-19, expresses the opinion—in regard to both past and present—that "The printer believes that he has not only a right but a duty to amend the author's copy."


The other standard ironies of the situation are also present: thus the compositor is not to alter words, but he revises punctuation in order "that the author's meaning may be more readily apprehended"—which implies that he is able to understand the author's meaning despite faulty punctuation but that the reading public is better served by the compositor's punctuation than the author's.


Of the essays dealing with particular textual decisions in a single edition, special note should be taken of Hugh Amory's "Tom Jones among the Compositors: An Examination," Harvard Library Bulletin, 26 (1978), 172-192. See also his other related essays in the same journal: "Tom Jones Plus and Minus: Towards a Practical Text," 25 (1977), 101-113; "The History of 'The Adventures of a Foundling': Revising Tom Jones," 27 (1979), 277-303; "Jones Papers: Envoi," 28 (1980), 175-180.


"Greg's 'Rationale' and the Editing of Pope," Library, 5th ser., 33 (1978), 119-124.


In connection with this point, he claims, "The corrector's role has been generally ignored by Greg and his followers" (p. 122). Whether or not this is true, the existence of the corrector reinforces the validity of Greg's general rationale.


Another point of Foxon's, to which he devotes a short paragraph (p. 120), is to criticize what he calls Greg's assumption that authorial spelling "should be recovered regardless of an author's wishes." His conclusion that certain of an author's "idiosyncrasies" are more properly preserved in a study (or transcription) of the manuscripts than in an edition of the works is not to be quarreled with; but the general line of his argument on this score seems based on an overly simple view of authorial intention, equating authors' statements or expectations with intentions.


References to, and an analysis of, these articles are provided in SB, 28 (1975), 202-211 (Selected Studies, pp. 280-289).


Thomas Woodson, "The Title and Text of Thoreau's 'Civil Disobedience,'" Bulletin of Research in the Humanities, 81 (1978), 103-112.


"A Toot of the Trumpet against the Scholarly Regiment of Editors," Bulletin of Research in the Humanities, 81 (1978), 297-323.


When a printed edition is copy-text, Girling seems to imply that an editor can purge it of the printers' punctuation by using standard printers' manuals or handbooks of punctuation, like De Vinne's or John Wilson's (pp. 301-302). Even if printed punctuation had been as regular as Girling suggests since about 1850, and therefore as identifiable, one would still not know, in the absence of a manuscript, what the author's punctuation had been, or whether indeed it had coincided with the printers' practice. Girling is right to say that editors need to be aware of these manuals; but how an editor can avoid, in the absence of a manuscript, retaining punctuation from a printed copy-text, and thus inevitably some of the printer's punctuation, is not made clear.


For some comments on that treatment, see SB, 28 (1975), 224-227 (Selected Studies, pp. 302-305).


Other weaknesses seem less important in comparison. One of them is Gaskell's seemingly irrational aversion to extensive apparatus. He repeatedly criticizes what he regards as excessive documentation; but characteristically his principal objection to a detailed record of variants is that it is "unreadable" and "unattractive" (p. 25). (Davis similarly refers to "massive lists of variants" that "invite themselves not to be read" [p. 74].)


Even though the focus of the chapter, as Gaskell himself points out, is somewhat different from the others, for here the principal subject is the CEAA edition, whereas in the others the emphasis is on the textual questions raised by the work, not on a particular scholarly edition (though some discussion of a particular edition is often appended). This shift of emphasis in this one chapter is itself revealing. I am limiting myself to this chapter here, because I have commented on Gaskell's book in considerably greater detail, giving some attention to each chapter, in a review in the Library, 6th ser., 2 (September 1980).


This passage in the CEAA Statement of Editorial Principles and Procedures (rev. ed., 1972), p. 5, goes on to describe two situations in which a surviving manuscript would not become copy-text.


Vinton A. Dearing, in a helpful review of Gaskell's book (Analytical & Enumerative Bibliography, 3 [1979], 105-116), provides an effective criticism of this statement (p. 111). He also offers a fresh summary of Greg's rationale and concludes that it is "perfectly general," not limited in its application to Renaissance books.


His discussion of this issue in other chapters does not help. For instance, in the cases of The Heart of Mid-Lothian and David Copperfield, Gaskell recommends choosing the first editions over the manuscripts, despite publishing-house normalization, on the grounds that the authors were "content with the result" (p. 114) or "did not prevent these alterations from being carried out" (p. 152); but when he comes to Henry Esmond he is much more sympathetic to the manuscript, without explaining what makes this situation different in his view from the other two. (For some further relevant discussion of authorial intentions and expectations, see Jane Millgate's "The Limits of Editing: The Problems of Scott's The Siege of Malta," Bulletin of Research in the Humanities, 82 [1979], 190-212. This unfinished manuscript, she says, brings into focus the question of "judging the kind and degree of supplementary intervention an author assumes his manuscript will receive, and how far it is legitimate for an editor to seek to recreate that intervention and regard it as in a sense part of the text" [p. 210].)


Another book of 1978—Editing Nineteenth-Century Fiction, ed. Jane Millgate, containing the papers from the 1977 Toronto editorial conference—includes some essays that should be mentioned here. Peter Shillingsburg, in "Textual Problems in Editing Thackeray" (pp. 41-59), makes a clear and succinct statement of the unexceptionable view that scholarly texts require judgment and that "there can be no such thing as a definitive text" (p. 47). His decision to "present first intentions" in his text of Pendennis is justifiable; whether he should do the same thing "even for works without the dramatic revisions of Pendennis" (p. 46) is less clear from the information furnished in the essay. If, in every case, what revisions there are serve to alter the overall effect of the work, he would of course have the choice of editing either the first or the later version; but if the rationale is to present first intentions in the text and later readings in the apparatus simply because that arrangement provides a more orderly chronological register of the variants, one could raise the same questions that come to mind in connection with Zeller's approach. Shillingsburg also includes an interesting discussion of Thackeray's "approval" of first-edition punctuation in Vanity Fair (pp. 55-57). He is aware that such tacit approval is not the same as intention, but he regards the manuscript as "inadequate" and in need of additional punctuation. A critical approach to this problem leads him to a sensible conclusion, one that is perfectly standard but nevertheless worth repeating: "the editor cannot hope to say that his edition recovers Thackeray's intentions, but only that he has tried to fulfil those intentions as his judgment and imagination have led him to understand them" (p. 56). Michael Millgate's paper, "The Making and Unmaking of Hardy's Wessex Edition" (pp. 61-82), provides a perfect demonstration of the way in which authors' acceptance of house-styling does not amount to their actually wishing to have their writing so punctuated. Hardy's texts, punctuated "carefully and deliberately in manuscript," went through a long process of "erosion and accretion"; he accepted "the heavier and more rigid punctuation imposed on his work" because in "his early years he must have felt too insecure and too busy to protest" and "later on it must have seemed unnecessary to worry over details that had been so long established" (p. 68). And the final paper in the volume, Hershel Parker's "Aesthetic Implications of Authorial Excisions: Examples from Nathaniel Hawthorne, Mark Twain, and Stephen Crane" (pp. 99-119), is an effective plea for further examination of the concept of authorial intention in the light of recent work in aesthetics, speech-act theory, creativity theory, and related fields. He shows that when writers "merely delete passages without rethinking and rewriting extensive parts of the book" they "often do more harm than good" (p. 101); editors must therefore investigate the circumstances surrounding any authorial revision and be aware of the aesthetic implications of accepting the last revision as the one that best reflects the author's wishes.


"The Application of Thought to an Eighteenth-Century Text: The School for Scandal," in Evidence in Literary Scholarship: Essays in Memory of James Marshall Osborn, ed. René Wellek and Alvaro Ribeiro (1979), pp. 321-335. My comments on some earlier related statements of Bateson's can be found in SB, 28 (1975), p. 227, n. 99 (Selected Studies, p. 305).


Another essay in the same collection that touches on some theoretical aspects of editing is Tom Davis and Susan Hamlyn's "What Do We Do When Two Texts Differ? She Stoops to Conquer and Textual Criticism," pp. 263-279. The authors repeat a familiar criticism of Greg: that his rationale is unsatisfactory because it tries to substitute a rule of thumb for aesthetic judgment. They say that an editor who must "choose between two equally authoritative variants . . . can do so only on the basis of subjective and aesthetic judgment: there may be no possible objective rationale or scrap of external evidence to relieve him of this responsibility" (p. 275). But if "aesthetic judgment" is taken to mean a decision as to what the author would have wished and if there are grounds for making this decision, Greg certainly did not believe that a rule should stand in the way of such a judgment. The issue turns on whether editorial judgment is conceived of as being directed toward establishing authorially intended readings or readings that appeal to the editor's own literary sensibility. Davis and Hamlyn seem to be leaning toward the latter approach when they say that an editor, after consulting all the evidence, constructs a text "that represents his subjective perception of the work itself" (p. 277). Confusion about the role of subjective judgment in scholarly editing has been a principal problem with many such discussions, and the situation is not helped here by the introduction of the idea that a literary work is a "subjective construct, any physical manifestation being an approximation" (p. 276). Although one can argue that "The symphony—the play—does not exist wholly in any of its performances or published forms," the relation between a performance and a printed text is a very different matter from the relation among various printed texts of the same "work." One can agree that an editor produces a text, not the text, without agreeing with the reasoning that leads Davis and Hamlyn to that position. (Some brief additional consideration of authorial intention in relation to performed dramatic works occurs in John Bush Jones, "Editing Victorian Playwrights: Some Problems, Priorities, and Principles," Theatre Survey, 17 [1976], 106-123.)


"A Review of the Year's Research," Direction Line, No. 8 (Spring 1979), pp. 1-32. The review includes some comment on the articles by Davis, Foxon, and Bowers discussed above, largely stressing the importance of "editorial freedom" and suggesting that Fuggles concurs with those who believe that the application of Greg's rationale to later literature has somehow restricted such freedom.


His discussion of this point is a part of his remarks on my essay "The Editing of Historical Documents," SB, 31 (1978), 1-56 (Selected Studies, pp. 451-506).


Fuggles's view that "it is easier to edit texts transcribing exactly" would not be agreed to by some historians. In a report on an April 1979 Mellon Conference on historical editing in Annotation, 7, no. 2 (July 1979), 8-9, William B. Willcox is reported to have said of literal transcription that it "takes too much time to do it properly." He is quoted as calling it a "theological approach" and "going wrong with confidence." (This report cites several other opinions, including the claim that "changing a dash to a period does not affect meaning, but adds clarification." It is reassuring to know that "The session ended without any clear consensus.")


Examining the decisions made in particular CEAA volumes naturally continues to be a valuable scholarly activity; but many of the comments about "CEAA editions" in general are of little use because they assume a uniformity among CEAA volumes that does not by any means exist.


This point applies to all texts; but obviously the editor's approach to the spelling and punctuation of an ancient text, the earliest surviving form of which is a scribal copy centuries later than the time of the author, will be different from the approach to be taken when texts survive that are contemporaneous, or nearly so, with the author.


Except possibly for some of the earliest works in a language, which might be said to require "translation," rather than simply "modernization," for the general reader.


"The Historical Text as Literary Artifact," in The Writing of History: Literary Form and Historical Understanding, ed. Robert H. Canary and Henry Kozicki (1978), pp. 41-62 (quotation from p. 42).


To argue, as some do, that such eclecticism is always improper because it violates the historical integrity of individual texts is effectively to eliminate the possibility of critical editing, even though it is sometimes asserted that each text individually can still be critically edited. Each one can, in the sense that critical judgment can be applied to the problem of detecting errors; but to rule out the adoption of revised readings from later texts artificially restricts the critical process, for some of the superseded readings may, from the author's point of view, have been errors as surely as the typographical errors are. To begin the critical process of emending a text but to stop short of adopting any revisions from a later text on the grounds that all those revisions belong to a subsequent period seems to imply the untenable proposition that all readings of a text except for the undoubted typographical errors (or slips of the pen) are the ones intended by the author at that particular time. Clearly, revisions in later editions do not necessarily reflect second thoughts; they can be readings intended all along but for one reason or another not previously substituted for the erroneous readings. The artificiality, therefore, of beginning the process of emendation but not carrying it through makes the resulting text rather unsatisfying in comparison with the alternatives of either reproducing the historical document without change or constructing a critical text that draws on all available evidence.


Quoted in Tony Schwartz, "Mixer of Elite and Pop," New York Times Book Review, 24 February 1980, pp. 7, 40-41. The fact that in this particular instance it was not a publisher's editor, but Dickens's friend Bulwer Lytton, who convinced Dickens to alter the ending is irrelevant to the main point being made.