fair copy

Copie au net: état manuscrit d’un texte qui ne comporte en principe plus de ratures; établi par l’auteur ou un copiste (Grésillon 1994, 242).

Above all, the collector’s manuscript used to be the Manuscript of the work: the definitive manuscript, the one the author recopied at the end of the writing process in order to provide a readable version for the copyist or the printer (or even to offer a “nice” manuscript to an admirer). Yet the manuscript of most interest to the researcher in textual genetics, the manuscript-object of study, is not usually this definitive clear copy. Although it can be beautiful, precious, and moving, most often it offers a very fixed image of the work. Rather, it is in the rough drafts, the handwritten documents of the writing process, that one concretely glimpses writing in the act of being born (de Biasi 2004, 39).

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