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The Work and the Reader in Literary Studies
Scholarly Editing and Book History

$24.00 ( ) USD

  • Date Published: August 2019
  • availability: This ISBN is for an eBook version which is distributed on our behalf by a third party.
  • format: Adobe eBook Reader
  • isbn: 9781108621922

$ 24.00 USD ( )
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About the Authors
  • By the late 1980s the concept of the work had slipped out of sight, consigned to its last refuge in the library catalogue as concepts of discourse and text took its place. Scholarly editors, who depended on it, found no grounding in literary theory for their practice. But fundamental ideas do not go away, and the work is proving to be one of them. New interest in the activity of the reader in the work has broadened the concept, extending it historically and sweeping away its once-supposed aesthetic objecthood. Concurrently, the advent of digital scholarly editions is recasting the editorial endeavour. The Work and The Reader in Literary Studies tests its argument against a range of book-historically inflected case-studies from Hamlet editions to Romantic poetry archives to the writing practices of Joseph Conrad and D. H. Lawrence. It newly justifies the practice of close reading in the digital age.

    • Offers a new theoretical defence of close reading - a central practice of literary critical training which has been lacking justification for decades
    • Demonstrates how textual studies (book history, scholarly editing, editorial theory) can be incorporated into a newly defined form of literary studies
    • Shows how redefining the concept of the literary work helps to conceptualise and organise digital forms of the scholarly edition which will assist in archival and editorial practices
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    Reviews & endorsements

    ‘Eggert's evident expertise and genuine passion for the subject underpins a volume of true worth. The Work and The Reader in Literary Studies offers an informed reflection of scholarly editing, book history and literary studies by a textual editor of international standing. It is a welcome addition to the field of textual studies, exploring the possibilities of the discipline and re-envisioning the role of the scholarly editor.' Allan H. Simmons, St Mary's University and General Editor of the series The Cambridge Edition of the Works of Joseph Conrad

    ‘Advancing a literary-aware form of book history and a book-historically informed literary criticism, Paul Eggert's The Work and The Reader in Literary Studies presents one of the finest and best-argued editorial theories textual scholarship has seen since the beginning of the twenty-first century.' Dirk Van Hulle, Universiteit Antwerpen

    ‘We can imagine Eggert’s digitally deployed work-concept as … an assembly in cyberspace-time, a gathering of minds around a matter of common concern.’ Christine Froula, Textual Cultures

    ‘This book will certainly be of interest to textual scholars and scholarly editors (especially those engaged in digital projects) … [and] for those seeking an introduction to the major theoretical problems in scholarly editing and textual studies.' Anna Muenchrath, The Papers of the Bibliographical Society of America

    ‘… practising print and especially digital editors, book historians, and those more broadly interested in (re)incorporating those disciplines into the practice of reading, will find much to learn from in this always fascinating and richly detailed volume.’ John K. Young, Script & Print

    ‘What follows is 200 pages of brilliant editorial discussion that blends strands of nostalgia wth strands of elegant self-deprecating irony.’ Cristina Urchueguía, Ecdotica

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    Product details

    • Date Published: August 2019
    • format: Adobe eBook Reader
    • isbn: 9781108621922
    • contains: 9 b/w illus.
    • availability: This ISBN is for an eBook version which is distributed on our behalf by a third party.
  • Table of Contents

    List of illustrations
    1. Introduction: the book, the work and the scholarly edition
    2. Reviving the work-concept: music, literature and historic buildings
    3. The digital native encounters the printed scholarly edition called Hamlet
    4. The reader-oriented scholarly edition
    5. Digital editions: the archival impulse and the editorial impulse
    6. The work, the version and the Charles Harpur Critical Archive
    7. Book history and literary study: the late nineteenth century and Rolf Boldrewood
    8. Book history and literary study: Joseph Conrad and D. H. Lawrence
    9. Adaptation, folklore and the work: the Ned Kelly story
    10. Conclusion: what editors edit, and the role of the reader

  • Author

    Paul Eggert, Loyola University, Chicago
    Paul Eggert is Professor Emeritus at Loyola University, Chicago and the University of New South Wales. He previously held the Svaglic Chair in Textual Studies at Loyola University. He has edited critical editions of works by D. H. Lawrence, Henry Kingsley, Rolf Boldrewood, Henry Lawson and Joseph Conrad, and is the author of Securing the Past: Conservation in Art, Architecture and Literature (Cambridge, 2009), which won the Society for Textual Scholarship's Finneran Award as the best book of editorial theory for 2009–10.

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