A Rationale of Textual Criticism

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University of Pennsylvania Press, 1992 - Literary Criticism - 104 pages

Textual criticism--the traditional term for the task of evaluating the authority of the words and punctuation of a text--is often considered an undertaking preliminary to literary criticism: many people believe that the job of textual critics is to provide reliable texts for literary critics to analyze. G. Thomas Tanselle argues, on the contrary, that the two activities cannot be separated.

The textual critic, in choosing among textual variants and correcting what appear to be textual errors, inevitably exercises critical judgment and reflects a particular point of view toward the nature of literature. And the literary critic, in interpreting the meaning of a work or passage, needs to be (though rarely is) critical of the makeup of every text of it, including those produced by scholarly editors.

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User Review  - waltzmn - LibraryThing

It doesn't matter how much you "rationalize" a straw man. You're still left grasping straws. The purpose of this book is to justify textual criticism -- but what it really calls for is not textual ... Read full review

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About the author (1992)

G. Thomas Tanselle is Vice President of the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation and Adjunct Professor of English and Comparative Literature at Columbia University.

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