Textual critics concern themselves with the transmission of the physical text from manuscript and notes to the printed versions of the text — usually a book — in which the author’s work becomes known to us. The word textual here has a specific meaning; it is not used metaphorically as in theoretical criticism — ‘the intertextual’ — and it works very much on the basis of an author’s declared intentions as these can be gathered from several sources (letters, memoranda, notebooks, etc.). Modern criticism often feels nervous about admitting such evidence as having an authority in the work’s interpretation, and whilst not ignoring it completely, may tend to discount it. The method derives from Shakespearian textual bibliography and it deals with the general questions surrounding the condition and production of printed texts as these can be factually verifiable. It works from documentable evidence in other words.
KeywordsDust Steam Coherence Expense Smoke
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