Reading Guide & Questions for Greetham, Textual Scholarship Chapters
Because Greetham's writing can be somewhat dense, here
are some guiding questions for the chapters. Use these to help you
formulate your group responses as well.
Read the list of objectives for Greetham's book, listed on pp. 10-11. How might these things aid your work as a graduate student of English studies? What areas are of particular interest?
Chapter 1 Finding the Text: Enumerative and Systematic Bibliography (13-46)
Based on the history of libraries offered here, what might be the relationship between enumerative bibliographies and canons? (14+)
How are enumerative bibliographies systematically organized, according to Fredson Bowers? (19) This will become significant in evaluating references this semester.
What is the major problem in the enumerative bibliographies evolving through history and how do the practices of descriptive and analytical bibliography address this? (20-22)
The second part of this chapter lists many useful reference works and their role in textual scholarship (note the valuable Selective Bibliography at the back of the book). Given that the objective of this course is to provide a map to find the information you will need for graduate work in English Studies, you should pay careful attention to this chapter, particularly if you are unfamiliar with these resources.
Where to find them? How to use them? These questions will be answered in the second part of this class. Here is the first important bit of information for your graduate work in English Studies – knowing what the bibliographies and resources for primary and secondary works are! (24-45).
Note that Greetham mentions the texts we are using for this class on page 25. He also provides alternatives for your information. Note Greetham's criticism of Harner's first edition (we are using the new 4th edition) (p. 25). Does this apply to the edition we are using?
Compare the organization and major reference works listed here with our syllabus. What interests you the most? What is missing that you might like to know about?
Chapter 2 Making the Text: Bibliography of Manuscript Books (47-75)
Note the precarious life of an ancient text surviving to be present in our classrooms today. What are some of the obstacles that might endanger a text's survival? What are some of the factors in the authority of the text as it is transmitted through time?
What are some of the conventions of the scribal production of texts that differ from printed books? What effect does this have on the text itself?
What are some of the factors in the material production of manuscript books, and how might these affect the text (materials, costs, copying, format and binding, storage, etc.)?
Discuss the palimpsest. What is it? Why does it exist? What are the implications for the texts involved? What relation does this hold to our concept of intertextuality? (53-54)
What are the implications of the differences between punctuation used in manuscripts and the printed books with which we are familiar?
Chapter 3 Making the Text: Bibliography of Printed Books
How is the printed text to be distinguished from manuscript and what are some of the related issues dealt with by the earliest printers?
How would you describe the relationship among the printers, publishers and booksellers of the early printed book? (86-88)
Why does censorship become important with the advent of printing?
When did printing come to England and who was largely responsible? (105-107)
In relation to seventeenth- and eighteenth-century practices of printing, what do the terms "subscription" and "conger" mean? (111)
What happens when printers stop exercising control over the texts they produce? (112)
What questions do you have about the process of printing? What are the implications for certain choices made in the production of a book – ie. the size, the format, the binding, the font?