text (orientation)

Where works emerge through stages of text and revision, the process may be contained in one manuscript. But it may equally spread over a sequence or cluster of documents–a sequence here the advance is linear from one document to the next, a cluster where the process of composition moves to and fro, forward and backward, over a group of draft manuscripts. Editorially, this raises the question of an orientation text to correlate the draft stages in the presentation. The principles by which to determine such an orientation text are those that in the edition of published works likewise dictate the choice and manner of presentation of the edited text. Just as a version–materially defined, say, as the text of a specific fair copy or printing in a history of transmission–serves as an orientation text in the scholarly edition of a work exclusively or predominantly transmitted in published print, so the orientation text of a Handschriftenedition must be a version by analogous historical determinants: an integral textual structure at a given point of development in the writing, and definable in time by document or document state (Gabler 1995, 5).

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