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The Possibility Of Systematic Emendation

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Chapter Summary

This chapter reconsiders the practice of textual emendation in the light of corpus methods. It explains the traditional practice of emendation by scholarly editors. The chapter describes general terms about the possibilities for digital emendation, rather than to discuss specific techniques; what this will establish is a modestly revised idea of what emendation is, rather than a dramatically new method. The prestige of good emendation is associated with classical scholarship, and so with a body of work that has come down to us through a number of copyings and recopyings and is often in evident need of repair. Housman's account illustrates two steps of emendation: detection and correction. But detection seems to involve two different operations. The strikingly new emendation has long been seen as resulting only from exceptional intuition and knowledge, and as such it is not so surprising that emendation might be difficult ground for corpus methods.

Keywords: corpus methods; digital emendation; textual emendation



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