Commentary

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Commentary

 

(1) Book commentaries (or notes) are explanations of a text, constituting part of the scholarly reference apparatus of a book (collected works, memoirs, translated works, and documentary and other publications).

As a rule such explanations are provided by the editor rather than the author, and they include information about the origin and history of the text and about the work’s place in the history of writing (philosophy, culture, the humanities, or the natural sciences); information about the events, facts, and persons mentioned in the text; elucidation of the author’s allusions and “subtext” in works in the humanities, especially literary and publicistic works; and linguistic and other explanations necessary for a better understanding of the text by modern readers. Often commentaries also include an ideological (ideological-artistic) and scholarly interpretation of the work and the reasons for its publication, but more frequently these elements are provided in the introduction or foreword. The relationship between these various levels depends on the nature of the text and the purpose of the publication.

The commentary should be concise and easy to use and not duplicate material available in encyclopedias and other general reference books. The commentary is usually placed after the text and may take the form of an article or individual notes, and frequently these methods are combined. Commentaries to classical works may be published as separate books. Model commentaries are contained in the series Biblioteka poeta and the series Literaturnye memuary, both published by Khudozhestvennaia Literatura.

In antiquity commentaries were first used extensively in the works of the Alexandrian philologists of the third and second centuries B.C. In Russia the first commentaries began to appear at the turn of the 19th century. Scholia may be regarded as a type of commentary.

A. L. GRISHUNIN

(2) In a system of mass information media the commentary is a type of analytical material designed to explain rapidly and efficiently the essence and significance of a current sociopolitical event or document. Commentaries may be used to explain events that play a positive role in society and to disseminate progressive methods and innovations, or they may be used to expose facts that manifest reactionary ideology and policies; commentaries of the last type are called critical, or polemical, commentaries. Commentaries commonly employ methods of analysis and comparison, various techniques of argument, and generalizations and conclusions. For operational efficiency, the commentary must, as a rule, be brief and concise, which does not, however, preclude the possibility of using vivid comparisons and metaphors to heighten its emotional impact.

(3) In ancient Rome historical works were called commentaries, for example, Julius Caesar’s Commentaries on the Gallic War.

S. M. GUREVICH


Commentary

 

in journalism, an article or radio or television broadcast that examines a number of related recent events and offers an analysis and evaluation. A commentary may focus on such topics as the sociopolitical, economic, or cultural aspects of contemporary life, or it may deal with sports.

References in periodicals archive ?
Indeed, Sankara in his commentarial literature made the case that the word "Upanisad" is etymologically derived from the same root as "rahasyam," secret.
Both the content and the commentarial style of this section require examination.
In what follows, we are limiting ourselves to the Jewish commentarial and lexicographic glosses on the literal meaning of the Hebrew tsammah Of course, there is a complex array of allegorical and mystical interpretations of the Song of Songs in the Jewish exegetical tradition: the Midrashic, Talmudic, and Targumic readings; the great medieval commentaries; the philosophical and Kabbalistic interpretations.
Subsequently, over a period of several hundred years before Buddhism was wiped out in India by the Muslim Mughals from Persia, the Tibetan kings and wealthy Tibetans undertook to translate the Buddhist literature of India, both the word of the Buddha and the commentarial tradition, that the Indians had amassed in more than a millenium since the time of the Buddha.
constitutional law, Sandefur also wishes to prove that what its commentarial tradition has come (pejoratively) to call "substantive due process" is actually neither more nor less than "due process of law" itself, and is perfectly respectable.
Moreover, I do not think it would be too anachronistic to say that the authors of these works, published between 1765 and 1808, were addressing broadly similar concerns to today's commentarial concerns about youth opportunity, the power of aspiration, and how best to bind a potentially mutinous rising generation into the status quo.
This work has the potential to be useful not only for anyone working in the ancient commentarial tradition, but also more broadly for those working in the area of ancient natural philosophy, especially in the Aristotelian tradition.
770-73), representing the general Foucauldian commentarial scholarship, the following can be listed: Barry, Osborne, and Rose, Mitchell Dean, Colin Gordon, Rose and Miller.
The Pali commentarial tradition provides glosses on the term bhikkhave.
As for the rest, one should read L-S' The Jealous Potter for which Petitot provided in his 1988 paper a sort of morphodynamic commentarial trace-copy which neither amplifies nor supplements the original.
In her study of medieval Jain and Mulasarvastivada commentarial traditions, Mari Jyvasjarvi points out male commentators' anxious concerns regarding the moral status of ascetic women, deeming them women of fragile virtue due to their unguarded status.
Prema Nandakumar's article points us towards a more nuanced view of the relationship between Tamil and Sanskrit in commentarial discourse, while Archana Venkatesan asks an important question in the introduction to her essay on Nammalvar's Tiniviruttarn: "How does the rivaispava commentator approach an Alvar poem that is consciously modeled on literary antecedents, specifically cankam poetry?