Method and Judgment in the Theodore Dreiser Edition: From Sister Carrie to The Titan.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

Abstract

This essay explores the ways in which a single author critical edition, the Theodore Dreiser Edition, has responded to a range of developments in critical editing, literary status and reputation, pedagogy, and modes of reading. Its first publication, an edition of Dreiser’s first novel Sister Carrie that explicitly affiliated itself with the Greg-Bowers-Tanselle tradition, became a focal point of resistance to eclectic editing, while its most recent editions downplay eclecticism and announce themselves as presenting versions of texts in a continuum of composition. Instructive as this may be as an example of the unfolding of a logic in the history of editing, this essay takes the Dreiser Edition as exemplifying that in author editions, other dynamics are also at work. The editorial context is never independent from the fluctuating status and significance attributed to authors, while different editorial practices may be required by changes in authors’ practices of composition and revision as their relationships with publishers and publics develop over their career, and by differing archival resources. Modal differences between outputs also require different editorial approaches. Editorial aims may be conditioned by contextual changes in literary theory, criticism, and pedagogy. The trajectory of the Dreiser Edition may indicate general trends in scholarly editing then, but this essay complicates such linear narratives by reference to these other dynamics and contexts. The main focus is on reviewing the practices and rationale of the 1981 edition of Sister Carrie, its highly polarized critical reception, the notions of authorship that it promoted, and the kinds of reading that it fostered or made possible. The essay then moves on to consider the subsequent development of the Edition, focusing especially on its latest volume, Dreiser’s fourth novel, The Titan, (2016).
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-18
JournalScholarly Editing: The Annual of the Association for Documentary Editing
Volume37
Publication statusPublished - 16 May 2016

Keywords

  • textual editingscholarly editingeditingbibliography

Cite this

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title = "Method and Judgment in the Theodore Dreiser Edition: From Sister Carrie to The Titan.",
abstract = "This essay explores the ways in which a single author critical edition, the Theodore Dreiser Edition, has responded to a range of developments in critical editing, literary status and reputation, pedagogy, and modes of reading. Its first publication, an edition of Dreiser’s first novel Sister Carrie that explicitly affiliated itself with the Greg-Bowers-Tanselle tradition, became a focal point of resistance to eclectic editing, while its most recent editions downplay eclecticism and announce themselves as presenting versions of texts in a continuum of composition. Instructive as this may be as an example of the unfolding of a logic in the history of editing, this essay takes the Dreiser Edition as exemplifying that in author editions, other dynamics are also at work. The editorial context is never independent from the fluctuating status and significance attributed to authors, while different editorial practices may be required by changes in authors’ practices of composition and revision as their relationships with publishers and publics develop over their career, and by differing archival resources. Modal differences between outputs also require different editorial approaches. Editorial aims may be conditioned by contextual changes in literary theory, criticism, and pedagogy. The trajectory of the Dreiser Edition may indicate general trends in scholarly editing then, but this essay complicates such linear narratives by reference to these other dynamics and contexts. The main focus is on reviewing the practices and rationale of the 1981 edition of Sister Carrie, its highly polarized critical reception, the notions of authorship that it promoted, and the kinds of reading that it fostered or made possible. The essay then moves on to consider the subsequent development of the Edition, focusing especially on its latest volume, Dreiser’s fourth novel, The Titan, (2016).",
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Method and Judgment in the Theodore Dreiser Edition: From Sister Carrie to The Titan. / Davies, Jude.

Vol. 37, 16.05.2016, p. 1-18.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

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AB - This essay explores the ways in which a single author critical edition, the Theodore Dreiser Edition, has responded to a range of developments in critical editing, literary status and reputation, pedagogy, and modes of reading. Its first publication, an edition of Dreiser’s first novel Sister Carrie that explicitly affiliated itself with the Greg-Bowers-Tanselle tradition, became a focal point of resistance to eclectic editing, while its most recent editions downplay eclecticism and announce themselves as presenting versions of texts in a continuum of composition. Instructive as this may be as an example of the unfolding of a logic in the history of editing, this essay takes the Dreiser Edition as exemplifying that in author editions, other dynamics are also at work. The editorial context is never independent from the fluctuating status and significance attributed to authors, while different editorial practices may be required by changes in authors’ practices of composition and revision as their relationships with publishers and publics develop over their career, and by differing archival resources. Modal differences between outputs also require different editorial approaches. Editorial aims may be conditioned by contextual changes in literary theory, criticism, and pedagogy. The trajectory of the Dreiser Edition may indicate general trends in scholarly editing then, but this essay complicates such linear narratives by reference to these other dynamics and contexts. The main focus is on reviewing the practices and rationale of the 1981 edition of Sister Carrie, its highly polarized critical reception, the notions of authorship that it promoted, and the kinds of reading that it fostered or made possible. The essay then moves on to consider the subsequent development of the Edition, focusing especially on its latest volume, Dreiser’s fourth novel, The Titan, (2016).

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