[Humanist] 30.51 virtuous qualities of an editor

Humanist Discussion Group willard.mccarty at mccarty.org.uk
Wed May 25 09:24:58 CEST 2016


                  Humanist Discussion Group, Vol. 30, No. 51.
            Department of Digital Humanities, King's College London
                       www.digitalhumanities.org/humanist
                Submit to: humanist at lists.digitalhumanities.org

  [1]   From:    "Center for Comparative Studies"                          (10)
                <centrostudicomparati at libero.it>
        Subject: Re: [Humanist] 30.48 virtuous qualities of an editor

  [2]   From:    Willard McCarty <willard.mccarty at mccarty.org.uk>          (30)
        Subject: text that matters


--[1]------------------------------------------------------------------------
        Date: Tue, 24 May 2016 09:41:25 +0200
        From: "Center for Comparative Studies" <centrostudicomparati at libero.it>
        Subject: Re: [Humanist] 30.48 virtuous qualities of an editor


I guess:

- "moral character" because an apparatus requires a selection of the 
variants and corrections to be included (you can hide the variants which 
could cast doubts about your reconstruction)
- "religion" (maybe in the Roman sense) because of the required accuracy and 
respect of everyone's opinion
- "social grace" because of the elegance an apparatus can show by its style 
and its relationships with previous apparatuses or different proposals by 
other philologists

Francesco



--[2]------------------------------------------------------------------------
        Date: Wed, 25 May 2016 06:55:22 +0100
        From: Willard McCarty <willard.mccarty at mccarty.org.uk>
        Subject: text that matters


On classicist Gilbert Murray's view that,

> An <i>apparatus criticus</i> [...] is a list of the MS. variations,
> with occasional remarks thereon. Only men of the highest moral
> character, religion, and social grace can produce one
> satisfactorily.

Recently I referred in public, at a university, to Francois' question of 
how we might translate the above into terms that would be generally 
recognizable today. I heard, if I am not mistaken, a dismissive 
reaction, I'd guess provoked by the words "moral", "religion" and 
"grace". I wonder now if we have not come too far from Murray's time 
quickly to grasp what he meant -- or, what is more serious, if we've 
lost the wit to detect an historical context and respect it in its own 
terms. (We do seem so very anxious to find transgressions of 
our contemporary values.) Along with the centrality of the printed 
codex have we lost the sense of a body of writings so central to 
who we are that every aspect of its handling requires the best we 
are capable of -- our "highest moral character, religion, and social 
grace"?

Another way to get at that sense of importance is provided by Hans 
Aarsleff's introduction to Wilhelm von Humboldt's "On Language", which 
Marinella Testori alerted me to. Aarsleff comments on the elusive core 
of von Humboldt's subject: "The fundamental nature of language was [for 
him] an aesthetic problem, accessible only to the artist. Speaking and 
writing are creative activities that must be reciprocated by the hearer's 
or reader's creative response." I think that might be quite a good 
answer to Francois' question, though an explanation of how it it might 
prove lengthy.

Yours,
WM

-- 
Willard McCarty (www.mccarty.org.uk/), Professor, Department of Digital
Humanities, King's College London




More information about the Humanist mailing list