editor (scholarly)

Examining more closely the editorial consequences of this extension of the concept of text, we conclude that the editor must structure a scholarly edition in ways that articulate both aspects of a literary text: the static and the dynamic, the fixedness and the breaking up of this fixedness. On the one hand, the text should be constituted as an established historical sign, as a meaningful historically determined relational structure. Yet the interpreting subjectivity of the editor always already plays a part here and is bound up into the seemingly objective historical form of the edited text. This indicates that a transgression of the determinacy of the sign is already inherent in the edition’s phenotext. But these are not the grounds for the tendency of editing to force open the historically defined sign. On the contrary, the editor must endeavor to pursue authenticity in the constitution of the text and in its historical and materially oriented determinacy, in order not to sacrifice prematurely that anchorage underneath the text’s dynamic turbulence. The dialectics of the determination of the text and the disintegration of the sign scarcely become accessible in the constitution of a single textual version. It is only recent literature that, on account of the prevailing nature of the transmission–the accessibility of drafts showing the flow of writing, the existence of different versions of a work, and the availability of extensive documentation of the textual genesis in plans, sketches, and variant fair copies–holds out the opportunity to make the unity of opposites within a text manifest in an edition.

(Martens 1995, 222)

Contributed by Wout. View changelog.