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"THE MARBLE FAUN" AND THE EDITING OF NINETEENTH-CENTURY TEXTS

JOHN FREEHAFER
Studies in the Novel
Vol. 2, No. 4, NATHANIEL HAWTHORNE (winter 1970), pp. 487-503
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/29531427
Page Count: 17
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Since scans are not currently available to screen readers, please contact JSTOR User Support for access. We'll provide a PDF copy for your screen reader.
"THE MARBLE FAUN" AND THE EDITING OF NINETEENTH-CENTURY TEXTS
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Abstract

The claim that the Centenary edition of Hawthorne is definitive and may serve as a model for editions of other nineteenth-century texts can be tested from The Marble Faun, a long and complex American text which was first printed in England, with many variations from Hawthorne's manuscript forms. A detailed examination of the emendations and methodology of the Centenary Marble Faun reveals tendentious and narrow analysis of internal bibliographic evidence, without regard to pertinent external evidence; inattention to pertinent linguistic and lexicographic evidence; excessive "normalization" of variants which often runs counter to Hawthorne's artistic and linguistic intentions; and adherence to a predetermined editorial practice which is too rigid and too narrow to encompass the full range of important editorial problems. Taken in conjunction with studies of the editing of other nineteenth-century texts, these findings suggest that Greg's theory of copy-text is not as easily applicable or as comprehensively useful in editing nineteenth-century texts as has sometimes been supposed. In particular, the Centenary editing relies too largely on technical bibliography, without enough attention to linguistic and esthetic questions. (JHF)

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