Documentary Editing, Association for


Date of this Version


Document Type



Newsletter of the Association for Documentary Editing, Volume 2, Number 2, May 1980. ISSN 0196-7134


© Association for Documentary Editing, 1980. Used by permission.


I'd like to offer two preliminary comments about the general topic of this session, the "perfect" text, and another about the aspect of that topic which I've been asked to discuss. On the general topic, our presentations may - indeed should - overlap; no aspect of textual scholarship, theoretical or practical, can be sensibly isolated from the others. And second, the placement of "perfect" in quotation marks in the title of the session is an acknowledgment of the virtual impossibility of the task: as editors we are frustrated by a multitude of conditions - I'll be describing a few of them in the body of my talk - from achieving a "perfect" text as the result of our work. About my topic specifically I'd like to add that I have interpreted it as a call to deal with texts rather than editions; I won't be concerned with the matter of selecting from a assemblage of texts to create the specific content of an edition.