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 ?
It may also be misleading to describe all of Averroes's middle commentaries as "paraphrastic summaries" (p.
This project "envisages the publication of Syriac, Arabic and Hebrew translations of Aristotle's works, of the Latin translations of those translations, and of the mediaeval paraphrases and commentaries made in the context of this translation tradition".
The four discs include all 23 episodes as well as unseen footage and commentaries.
The heart of the book is an analysis of commentaries on the Ethics by Italian scholars who taught in the universities of Florence, Padua, Bologna, and Rome, and in the Jesuit Collegio Romano.
In the remainder of this essay, I offer commentaries on three of the Thomas sayings -- numbers 2, 22, and 42, following the traditional form of koan commentary.
I reference books in my commentaries on the Joyner show, and I'll continue to reference books that I find of interest on The Smiley Report commentary," says Smiley.
Familiar names, of course, reappear and there are magisterial commentaries by L.
A few weeks into my Berkeley sojourn, a fellow called to invite me to participate in his start-up--a web site that would publish brief instantaneous news commentaries by approximately 100 "famous people" like myself.
Congress understood that this blanket rule could impose unacceptable restrictions on media activities, and so it made an exception to the definition of "expenditure" for news stories, commentaries, or editorials distributed by any broadcasting station, newspaper, magazine, or other periodical.
This full version contains the full text of the Model Tax Convention on Income and on Capita as it read on 22 July 2010, including the Articles, Commentaries, non-member economies positions, the Recommendation of the OECD Council, the historical notes (now expanded to go back to 1963), the detailed list of conventions between OECD member countries and the background reports.
Welcome a new series of New Testament commentaries that parallels the distinguished Old Testament Library of the publisher.
Written by senior Presbyterian pastor James Montgomery Boice, who has also written commentaries upon The Gospel of Matthew, The Gospel of John, and many more, Nehemiah: An Expositional Commentary is a scholarly and well-reasoned close reading and interpretation that inspects the Old Testament book.