Date of this Version
Newsletter of the Association for Documentary Editing, Volume 2, Number 4, December 1980. ISSN 0196-7134
Ever since the pre-meeting of this organization that I attended in Lawrence, Kansas, the association of historian-editors and of literature-editors has seemed to me to be an auspicious one. Each of our sides has a chance to discuss its own special disciplinary problems in a necessary and useful manner, but always with the consciousness that we are also talking to a similarly oriented group, though in another field. However, in addition, I note that some programming has deliberately fostered what it may be pompous to call "cross-fertilization" but what at least offers the opportunity to survey the one discipline's general theories, as well as its particular problems of methodology, by comment from the other side. This programming must serve as my excuse for speaking today. No one could be more ignorant than I of the inner workings of the large scale historical projects in which the interest of the historians of this organization concentrates. Yet as the editor of the complete works of some six authors in four different centuries, several of which run to ten or more closely packed volumes, I have acquired some notions about the function of literary and philosophical editing in the graduate training of our universities; and I hope that this background qualifies me to take a more outside view of Messrs. Prince and Burke's two most cogent papers than might have been obtained by using an historian-commentator who could have been too close to the trees. In this case, only the forest looms to my near-sighted vision.