textual scholar

Rather than custodians, textual scholars are the managers and explainers of the fluid text. They assemble and record the available evidence of textual fluidity in a literary work. In their editions they display these materials as fully as their principles of selection will allow, rendering them in one way or another depending upon the degree of showcasing they wish to provide. And they justify their arrangements with arguments based on historical, aesthetic, even political and psychological reasonings. Exactly how an editor might manage an edition–whether to emphasize one, two, or all moments of intentionality throughout a literary work–is a principal problem confronted by all textual scholars. And these protocols depend upon the way we conceptualize a literary work, perhaps as a coherent whole, or as a single moment in a process of writing, or as the entire writing process itself, insofar as it is possible to conceive and then render such processes. If we are to edit the fullness of a fluid text, we are obliged to develop protocols, even ways of reading and modes of analysis, that can elucidate the revision as revision. This means devising new display strategies for the fluid-text edition.

(Bryant 2002, 19-20)

Contributed by Caroline. View changelog.