edition (critical)

By English-language definition, the adjective critical refers to the establishment of the text, which in modern Anglo-American editing tends to mean that he or she establishes it eclectically from all evidence of authorial text (unrevised and revised) provided in the authoritative transmission. This procedure is recognizable as a special modification of the original endeavor of textual criticism as exercised upon classical and medieval texts to separate authentic text from textual corruption in the transmission. The German editorial mode derives from the same origins, as is quite explicit from its label for the ‘critical edition,’ which is historisch-kritische Ausgabe. Under the conditions of transmission of classical and medieval texts, to establish an edition text critically requires analyzing the transmission historically. That is common ground. The difference enters in the mode of application of the traditional approach to modern texts. What Anglo-American editing has upheld is the adjective , reapplying it to competing authorial variants and their treatment. The German type of scholarly edition, by contrast, has–in the face of modern texts–strengthened the adjective element historical (historisch). Concomitantly, the element critical (kritisch) is understood to apply not so much to the establishment of the text as to the analysis–the critique–of the text’s genesis and history.

(Gabler 1995, 2-3)

Contributed by Wout. View changelog.