A work’s manuscripts are clearly distinct from the text; although they lead to the text, they also keep reminding us that they are prior and external to it. To grasp the vast movement that, with increasing precision, produces the final text, without covering up the many divergences operaring inside its transformation–such is the critical work of manuscript analysis. This means changing the critical status of the holograph dossier from undifferentiated “manuscripts of the work” to “avant-texte.” Following from a good deal of other preparatory work, this operation represents the essential stakes of the scientific bet introduced by “genetictextual criticism.

(Biasi 2004, 38)

Contributed by Jesse. View changelog.