The business of figuring
depends on the work of bibliographers, who piece together
the story of which edition appeared when.
Most important medieval works, for instance, survive in many manuscripts, no two of which are quite
the same. The business of sorting out the variants among the surviving witnesses and determining which readings
are likely authorial and which are corrupt can be very
James Joyce's Ulysses, for instance, has a notoriously
complicated textual history, with
From the Guide to Literary Terms by Jack Lynch.
Please send comments to Jack Lynch.
Note: This guide is still in the early stages of development.
Three question marks mean I have to write more on the subject. Bear with me.