Documentary Editing, Association for


Date of this Version


Document Type



Newsletter of the Association for Documentary Editing, Volume 4, Number 1, February 1982. ISSN 0196-7134


© Association for Documentary Editing, 1982. Used by permission.


For several years now literary and historical editors have been "talking shop" in their attempt to isolate what, if anything, they share of a common editorial method. Regrettably, the more we have talked the more defensive our thinking has become. David J. Nordloh's essay in the May 1980 issue of the ADE Newsletter, "The 'Perfect' Text: The Editor Speaks for the Author," demonstrated to my chagrin the occasional depths of our mutual misunderstandings. Hoping that subsequent commentary would obviate the need for my making a self-pleading rejoinder, I have postponed the present answer for some eighteen months. The ADE Newsletter of February 1981 carried excellent articles by Don L. Cook and Robert J. Taylor, but neither went beyond the examination of Tom Tanselle's essay, "The Editing of Historical Documents" (Studies in Bibliography 31 [1978]:1-56). What follows should not be regarded as a comprehensive review of Professor Nordloh's editorial principles. At most I would attempt to correct a single set of inferences that have arisen from his criticism of the Polk Project's editorial methods.