Manly and Rickert and the Failure of Method

Edwards, Anthony S. G. (2010) Manly and Rickert and the Failure of Method. Studies in the Age of Chaucer, 32 . pp. 337-344. ISSN 0190-2407. (doi:10.1353/sac.2010.0053) (The full text of this publication is not currently available from this repository. You may be able to access a copy if URLs are provided)

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1353/sac.2010.0053

Abstract

Vance Ramsey, in his extended defense of Manly and Rickert's The Text of the Canterbury Tales, makes the following assertion: "Contrary to the absolutists, no intelligent person can doubt that learning, taste and judgment must be exercised by any editor worthy of the name, but they should be the very last resort of an editor and not the first." I doubt whether anyone with experience of editing Middle English texts (as Ramsey had not) would formulate the problems of editorial intervention in such a categorical way. Nor is it clear what "absolutists" (whatever the term is intended to mean) he has in mind. And if "learning, taste and judgment" are to be the "last" resort of the editor, what is to be the first? It is worth applying this last question to the editorial activities of Manly and Rickert, that is, to those portions of their work specifically concerned with presenting a text of the Canterbury Tales, volumes 3 and 4. These volumes have important practical implications for their larger undertaking. One might reasonably assume that the very first procedural matter that any editor would wish to establish would be the choice of the base text, which will provide the lemmata for the edition, that is, the forms against which other witnesses will be collated. Normally such a base text would also provide, in general terms, the orthographic forms for the text, what are now termed its "accidentals."

Item Type: Article
DOI/Identification number: 10.1353/sac.2010.0053
Subjects: P Language and Literature > PE English
Divisions: Faculties > Humanities > School of English
Depositing User: Stewart Brownrigg
Date Deposited: 07 Mar 2014 00:05 UTC
Last Modified: 29 May 2019 12:29 UTC
Resource URI: https://kar.kent.ac.uk/id/eprint/40685 (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)
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