textual scholarship

To be discriminatingly analytical of these is a basic requirement of textual scholarship–that is, to endeavor to distinguish authorial changes from, say, misprints, miscorrections, typographical constrictions, book design semiotics, censorship cuts, or readership (mis)guidance. To be specifically committed in textual scholarship and editing to the textual process, however, provides a method not only for discriminating by exclusion, but also of discriminating and including multiple-natured textual changes in the editorial representation of the text (Gabler 1995, 6).

This transmission of oral or written texts and the variation of these texts form the basis of an interdisciplinary branch of scholarship called textual scholarship. Textual scholarship, or textual studies, is an umbrella term for disciplines that deal with describing, transcribing, editing or annotating texts and physical documents. Textual research is mainly historically oriented. Textual scholars study, for instance, how writing practices and printing technology has developed, how a certain writer has written and revised his texts, how literary documents have been edited, the history of reading culture, the relationship of oral and written texts, as well as censorship and the authenticity of texts. The subjects, methods and theoretical backgrounds of textual research vary widely, but what they have in common is an interest in the genesis and derivation of texts and textual variation in these practices (Katajamäki et al. 2013, 8).

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