A draft is a preliminary form of a version. Composition is often complex, sometimes tortured. Incomplete forms are often essayed by authors pursuing a coherent intention. Drafts of sentences, paragraphs, or even scenes may be produced that cannot be thought of as belonging to completed versions of the work. Yet both critic and editor may well gather insight into the meaning or function of a version from acquaintance with false starts or experimental forms. Determining when a variant in a text is part of a draft and when it represents part of a new version may be difficult, but it is important to try to make that distinction, since one’s response to change may depend on whether it was produced by the same intentionality that produced its alternate form or whether sufficient time had passed to see the change as the product of a new effort. Drafts have the same ontological status as versions; they have no material existence. They are represented more or less well by the manuscripts containing them, but texts of drafts are also capable of misrepresenting the draft intention.

Contributed by Wout. View changelog.