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2 To Authenticate a Manuscript: The Case of Toldy and Hanka, Hermeneutically Reconsidered

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Chapter Summary

Toldy emphasized his personal consultation of sources primarily in order to distinguish his work from earlier literary histories, which were essentially compilations. Toldy "assures" his readers an autopsy, as it were, a literary history based on his scrutiny of original sources, and while he doesn't clearly elucidate what this actually guarantees, he does imply that his method in and of itself is substantiation for the assertions he makes in his book. The meeting between Toldy and Hanka is a subject of some interest both because of what seemed at the time to be the historical and scholarly parallels between their careers and the significant differences between the two that have become apparent today. Toldy strove, throughout the course of the debate, to disperse all fears and insist on the reliable foundation of his claims, thereby asserting the unassailable soundness of the notion of incontrovertible knowledge.

Keywords: Hanka; incontrovertible knowledge; personal consultation; Toldy; unassailable soundness



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