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Scholars and GentlemenShakespearean Textual Criticism and Representations of Scholarly Labour, 1725-1765$
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Simon Jarvis

Print publication date: 1995

Print ISBN-13: 9780198182955

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198182955.001.0001

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Conclusion: Textual Criticism and Enlightenment

Conclusion: Textual Criticism and Enlightenment

(p.182) Conclusion: Textual Criticism and Enlightenment
Scholars and Gentlemen

Simon Jarvis

Oxford University Press

A central argument of this book has been that neither the rise of historicist approaches to the idea of linguistic correctness nor the advent of bibliographically grounded approaches to textual criticism can be understood if they are taken as the inventions of accidentally enlightened pioneers, on the one hand, or as the symptoms of the descent of an ‘Enlightenment’ epistemological world-view or schema, on the other. Instead, both of these shifts in philological practice are inseparably bound up with the changing representations of literary labour in general, and of the labour of minute criticism in particular. In addition, the first editor to print a text of William Shakespeare abandoning the textus receptus as the source of copy-text was Edward Capell. If one is to locate the sudden break between pre-enlightened and enlightened practices of textual criticism it should surely be with Capell's work.

Keywords:   textual criticism, Enlightenment, philological practice, literary labour, minute criticism, William Shakespeare, textus receptus, Edward Capell, linguistic correctness

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