Commentary

(redirected from commentarial)
Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Legal.

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 ?
Ebeling describes the "social logic" of commentarial practice and its role in the establishment of "textual communities," as commentaries work to "empower" both text and author (p.
These two tales in the Ekottarika-agama are instances of a general tendency in this collection to present as a canonical discourse what in the Theravada tradition is only found in commentarial literature.
19) See note 31, below, for the similar case of Vakkali, and Delhey's survey (in "Vakkali") of recensional variations in justifying the Buddha's exoneration of his suicide, and the canonical commentarial claims that see it as integral to a spiritual praxis (85-86).
The Spring and Autumn records display a high degree of formal regularity, and it is this feature more than any other that has invited commentarial attention.
My discussion concentrates on the canonical Vinaya regulations only, in line with the injunction given in the Samantapasadika that one's own opinion or the commentarial tradition should never override the canonical injunctions in the Vinaya itself.
bar]harsa's poem--is an intertext--were intimately familiar with formal commentaries, or themselves commentators (although some of them apparently were), it does appear that a commentarial consciousness closely allied to that found in Sanskrit commentaries informs their translations in ways that invite close analysis.
Before I begin, one final caveat: My discussion deals with the depiction of Thullananda in Theravadin Pali canonical and commentarial sources only (and even here, it is not exhaustive).
Although the book is described in its title as a philosophical introduction to Nagarjuna, the book draws on the long commentarial tradition of Madhyamaka in both India and Tibet and the shorter but rapidly growing commentarial traditional of those writing about Nagarjuna in modern European languages.
Along similar lines, Yael Bentor explores how the meaning of a single verse of the Guhyasamaja Tantra was transformed in subtle ways during its translation from Sanskrit to Tibetan and describes the impact that this had on the development of Tibetan commentarial traditions on the tantra.
In any case, aside from these two passages from extant smrtis, an examination of the commentarial literature reveals a number of passages advocating sahagamana ascribed to authors of Dharmasastras that are no longer extant.
True Grit, the Odyssey, their many riffs on genre), and I will therefore take the "Rashi" as privileging the very commentarial tradition I want to adduce here.
The appropriation by this new context, whether by attribution to a figure or by commentarial activity, need not surface in the text itself at all.