methods used in the publication of scholarly texts, primarily well-established ones, such as classical works, historical or linguistic sources, and documents; one of the applied uses of textual criticism.
The most important task in editorial technique is the establishment of a text for publication through studying its history. An established text must correspond to the creative intentions of the writer and be free of extraneous additions and damage, in particular, changes linked with censorship (including self-censorship). Another task is the transcription of the text, which involves applying modern orthography and script while preserving the essence of the content, as well as lexicological, morphological, syntactical, and phonetic peculiarities of the published text. Of utmost importance is the formulation of a reference apparatus, including accompanying articles, indexes, and especially commentaries (notes).
The resolution of all the problems of editorial technique depends on whether the publication is intended to be scholarly or popular. In regard to structure and content, the text may be published as a complete collection of works, selected works, an anthology, or a publication of separate works or documents.
Specialists in editorial technique and textual criticism cannot merely rely on the mechanical application of previously established “rules.” Universal conventions do not take into account all the various forms, shades of meaning, and unusual connotations of the written word. Certain rules, such as those set by the latest text, are justified in most cases; however, they do not relieve the scholar of his duty to undertake concrete research to establish the authentic creative intentions of the author. A philological analysis of the text necessitates the collation of sources to make known the latest interpretations; various techniques of scholarly philological research are also indispensable. An established text is not declared the standard one, but is acknowledged as such (at the current level of study) by a number of authorities. The work of the editor is documented and substantiated within the publication and therefore can be checked by the reader.
REFERENCESSee underTEXTUAL CRITICISM.
A. L. GRISHUNIN