Reading Guide & Questions for Greetham, Textual Scholarship Chapters 7 & 8
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.
Chapter 7 – Evaluating the Text
What does Greetham mean by “textual bibliography” and how does this differ from other uses of the term? (272)
Discuss the Vinaver model for scribal copying and its potential for errors. How might this apply to the practice of quotation and note-taking? (280)
What are some of the ways to explain variant spellings and capitalizations in early books (284).
In editing, why is it necessary to collate more than one copy of the same book? (288).
What is the principle of universal variation (Greg) and what does that mean for the literary / textual critic? (289)
What are some of Jerome McGann’s “bibliographical codes”? (292) (338-end)
What are some of the implications for materialist textual criticism? Use a well-known text for your example. (294)
Chapter 8 – Criticizing the Text: Textual Criticism
“As Eugène Vinaver, the noted editor of Malory’s Morte Darthur put it, textual criticism is founded upon a ‘mistrust of texts’ (352), and it is this mistrust that motivates the act of editing” (296). Explain.
What two fundamental principles of genealogical or stemmatic analysis derive from Politian (1454-94)? (309)
Why is Joseph Justus Scaliger important? (313) And what are the dominant trends in textual criticism that follow him?
What are the three stages of Lachmann’s textual theory? (323)
Know the names and the contributions of the following analytical bibliographers: Greg, Bowers and Gaskell (333-5).
What is the dominant mode of Anglo-American textual criticism in the late 20th century? (335)
What is the debate about intention or final intention in recent arguments on textual authority? (337-)
Discuss: “There has thus been a new acknowledgment that textual criticism is not merely a dry, mechanical, tedious investigation of physical fact but, like all other intellectual activities, operates under various theoretical persuasions, which may changes from time to time” (342).