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Varia bibliographica

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In his brief note on a compositor's pun, the author refers to Prof. Marita Mathijsen's handbook on the discipline of editing, Naar de letter. Handboek editiewetenschap (Assen 1995), where she observes a difference between intentional interference and unintentional alteration in a given text. In the first category she mentions six reasons for a copyist or compositor to interfere in a text: (1) he wants to correct a mistake, (2) he disapproves of a particular construction, (3) he wants to alter the spelling, (4) he wants to alter the interpunction, (5) acting as a censor, he deletes, and (6) he has problems of a technical nature. The author mentions yet another possibility: the compositor wants to have some fun. In addition to the examples occurring in Die historie van Reynaert die Vos (Gouda, Leeu, 1479), mentioned by Hellinga-Querido and Gondrie - see note 2, the author has discovered another compositor's pun in Die excellente Cronike van Vlaanderen (Antwerpen, Willem Vorstcrman, 1531). On fo. 123v. of this edition the Christian name Adriaen occurs twice, the first time printed 'Adriaen', the second time 'Aaaa' when pronounced in Dutch 'Adriaen' could be understood to denote 'A three a's'. The author suggests that the compositor might have been inspired by an often quoted biblical reminiscence of Jeremiah 1, 6.


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