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| UCL MA in Comparative Literature | Dr. Jakob Stougaard-Nielsen | 20. January 2010 | << Previous Seminar: 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.


  • Roger Chartier, "The Text Between the Voice and the Book" in Raimonda Modiano et al (eds), Voice, Text, Hypertext: Emerging Practices in Textual Studies, pp. 54-71 (Read the book online in Google Books)unmigrated-wiki-markup
  • Robert Darnton, "[What is the History of Books?|http://www.jstor.org/stable/20024803]" in _The Book History Reader_, pp. 9-26 \ [Read the article online in _Daedalus_, Summer 1982: 65-83, JSTOR\]
  • Jerome McGann, "The Socialization of Texts", in The Textual Condition. Princeton UP, 1991. pp.69-87; or in David Finkelstein and Alistair McCleery, eds. The Book History Reader. Routledge, 2002. pp.39-46. (download the chapter as pdf)


  • 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)