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| UCL MA in Comparative Literature | Dr. Jakob Stougaard-Nielsen | 20. January 2010 | >> previous seminar on What is a Text |


Seminar description

While literary theoriest have debated and disagreed on what the very nature of the literary text is, textual scholars and bibliographers have carried out preparing the texts for publication in editorial formats that pressuppose many of the discussions we encountered in the previous seminar. In this seminar we shall take a look at the ancient discipline of Textual Scholarship, and how it has been practiced in the 20th century. How do textual scholars prepare the texts we read? Is there a "hidden" theory of the text behind new editions of the historic literary texts we read? In the required readings for this seminar, I have selected texts that introduce to the practices and recent debates within Textual Scholarship, and articles by textual theorists who more recently have challenged the way we understand the "text" and the "book". Read the texts in the "further reading" section for a definition of Textual Scholarship and for a expanded view on editorial practices to include hypertextuality.


  • D. F. McKenzie, "The Book as an Expressive Form", in Bibliography and the Sociology of Texts. Cambridge UP, 1999. pp.9-30; or in David Finkelstein and Alistair McCleery, eds. The Book History Reader. Routledge, 2002. pp.27-38 . (Download download the chapter as pdf).



Introducing the Book: a Medieval Help Desk (YouTube)