authorization (passive)

Not only do authorized and unauthorized witness documents realize the author’s textual intention with varying degrees of purity, but some witness documents stand closer to or further from the author within the authorized transmission. There are thus varying, or higher and lower, degrees of authorization. Within a witness document itself the proximity to the author may vary, with textual corruption arising from the momentary inattention of the author, the scribe, the compositor, or all these together. By our definition, even the deviations of an authorized printing from the setting copy that go unnoticed by the author are considered authorized. This merely formal, all-inclusive authorization has been called ‘passive authorization’ (in contrast to the ‘active’ variety of the author’s express approval)–an expression that temporarily aids understanding, but that is not a relevant differentiation for editorial practice. In fact, the difference is theoretical, and not practically applicable.

(Zeller 1995, 27-28)

Contributed by Wout. View changelog.