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Annotation and commentary in the modernist edition: a critique

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journal contribution
posted on 18.12.2019, 11:56 by Wim Van-MierloWim Van-Mierlo
Annotation and commentary have been little considered in discussions about scholarly editing, despite being some of the most used segments of the scholarly edition. What treatments do exist mostly focus on practical aspects about the quality and style of annotation. This essay analyses some of the theoretical assumptions that underlie annotational practices with specific reference to the editing of modernist works. It puts into question, first of all, some common perceptions about annotation, which is sometimes viewed as interfering with the readerly experience, to address the matter of the reader: what kind of reader are annotations for? Because annotations are a contextual and hermeneutic device to bridge the gap between the literary work that has come to us from the past and the reader’s present, not all readers are served by a single style of annotation. Conversely, to accept this hermeneutic value also means that annotation is never neutral or objective; while editorial practices tend to avoid open interpretive annotation, annotations nonetheless direct the process of reading and interpretation. Annotation thus participates in the sense-making process and, like all other editorial interventions, it represents an act of mediation.

History

School

  • The Arts, English and Drama

Department

  • English and Drama

Published in

Modernist Cultures

Volume

15

Issue

1

Pages

69 - 91

Publisher

Edinburgh University Press

Version

AM (Accepted Manuscript)

Rights holder

© Edinburgh University Press

Publisher statement

This is an Accepted Manuscript of an article published by Edinburgh University Press in Modernist Cultures. The Version of Record is available online at: https://www.euppublishing.com/doi/abs/10.3366/mod.2020.0280.

Acceptance date

06/11/2019

Publication date

2020-02-29

ISSN

2041-1022

eISSN

1753-8629

Language

en

Depositor

Dr Wim Van Mierlo. Deposit date: 17 December 2019