Critical Editions in Scholarship and in the Classroom March 9-11 Claremont McKenna College

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Association of Literary Scholars, Critics, and Writers
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Moderator: Archie Burnett, Boston University

Critical editions are difficult to edit and expensive to publish, yet without critical editions scholars and students are bound to catch many "soiled fish of the sea,'' to construct fanciful readings which turn on what turn out to be typographical errors. The decisions editors make are often fraught ones. When Edward Connery Lathem added a comma to Frost's "Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening,'' for what he thought of as grammatical reasons, changing "The woods are lovely, dark and deep,'' to "The woods are lovely, dark, and deep,'' he made those lines refer to three parallel attributes of the woods (loveliness, darkness, and depth), rather than treating the last two words as elaborating the meaning of "lovely.'' The change emptied the word "lovely'' of its seductive promise of dissolution, so that the speaker was merely whimsical, no longer half in love with easeful death. We invite papers that consider any aspect of the problem of critical editing: the philosophical premises about authorship and texts that underlie its main practices, specific problems of copy text and multiple versions, online editions, or the use of critical editions in the classroom.

All participants – we hope for fifteen to twenty – will be from the call for papers. Please send proposals and abstracts (300 words) by December 15 to Professor Archie Burnett, Editorial Institute, Boston University, 143 Bay State Road. Boston, MA 02215