Central to all post-Renaissance scholarship, textual studies continues to evolve, both in its techniques and methods as well as in the illumination it affords all other areas of modern knowledge. The life of our fellow human beings, and how we know and tell lives, is one such area of modern knowledge that is foundationally affected by theories and practices of textual creation, transmission, and apprehension. This collection of new essays and studies by internationally acclaimed scholars, along with a select few who are less acclaimed but of distinct promise, provides a view into the contemporary state of scholarship in textual and biographical studies. The collection also means to be of especial interest to scholars of the British eighteenth century, by concentrating its evidence and argument on topics and subjects important to contemporary eighteenth-century studies. The volume is inspired by the extensive contributions to the fields by the late O M Brack, Jr.
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Jesse G. Swan is professor of English at the University of Northern Iowa.Review:
Students of literary studies typically tend to view bibliographical and textual criticism as the most austere and objective areas of our cognitive domain, those methodologies aspiring most convincingly toward the status of the hard sciences. Many of the essays in Jesse Swan’s fine Editing Lives support this reputation. However, by belonging to the genre of festschrift, the present volume also embraces a moving and subjective humanity, as it celebrates the life and career of the eminent Johnsonian whom friends and colleagues fondly called “Skip.” All who knew him will surely acknowledge Skip to be a rarely fine human being as well as a top drawer scholar. The apparatus of Editing Lives, that bookend these essays, offer eloquent testimony to these claims. . . .The editor has divided the book into three sections: 1. “Textual Studies,” 2. “Biographical Studies,” and 3. “Edition.” Within these heads are arranged eleven scholarly essays and a translation. . . .[which] serves as a fitting conclusion to a sound and rewarding excellent volume. (Intelligencer)
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