Rethinking Philology, Florilegium (2015)

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Markus Stock, “Introduction: Philological Moves”

New Philology — announced in special issue of Speculum by Bernard Cerquiglini, 1990 — stressing “the processuality of medieval texts, their changing nature in fluid transmission, their variance and mouvance, and their variability in ever-changing, never-exact manuscript copies” (2)

“At the same time, another notable shift happened: ‘philology,’ which, by the 1990s, had become the dustiest of dusty terms in literary and cultural studies, has made quite the comeback in recent years, and the term is now met with “general euphoria,”12 endowed with hope and aspiration for the humanities, and subject to many attempts at renovationes far exceeding the New Philology in scope.”

“I would like to argue for an, admittedly highly ideal- ized, transhistorical alliance of text curators — an alliance between the medieval redactor as philologist and today’s philologists, who would take this historical ges- ture of curatorship so seriously that they would suspend the quest for an Urtext in order to be attentive to Traube’s ‘little historical facts,’ those ‘almost silent hints.’ “

Stephen G. Nichols, “Dynamic Reading of Medieval Manuscripts”

New Philology in 90s: “We believed that medieval literary studies would bene t from studying authentic medieval artefacts ‘in the esh,’ as it were, by working from manuscripts themselves, which was, a er all, how medieval people encountered the works. We proposed, in short, that literary scholars follow the practices of their colleagues in music, history, and art history by basing their scholarly research on the primary authority of original documents.”

NP didn’t think much about digital images because focused usually on one ms to recreate critical edition of text: “The critical edition, in short, deployed structured imagination to reconstruct how the poet might plausibly have conceived the work and its language.”

“It was in reac- tion to such a restrictive treatment of manuscript variation that New Philology emerged. Initially, we argued that manuscript copies bore witness to a dialectical process of transmission where individual versions might have the same historical authority as that represented by the critical edition.”

parallax effect of two modes in mss: text and image working together

like Harmonies:

“Given that both text and image further the ongoing narrative, the sense each contributes plays an important role in our experience of the work. Part of that experience, however, lies in recognizing not one but two modes, as it were, each guring a di erent index of the meaning in every scene. First one, then the other mode claims our attention as we compare, equate, and parse their separate inter- pretations. In the end, we recognize how text and image infuse the manuscript page with a parallax e ect, where each mode o ers a perception of the narrative from a di erent angle. Since the parallax e ect di ers from one manuscript to another, the phenomenon helps to explain the wide variation in programmes of manuscript illustration of a given work, especially from one period to another. e same scene from the Roman de la Rose portrayed in 1320 will look quite di erent a generation later. With eenth- or early sixteenth-century versions, the parallax e ect becomes even more pronounced. All of this serves to remind us that mimesis in the Middle Ages was not bound by conventions of strict resemblance.”

energeia: “moving force for the pluripotential capacity of manuscripts” as it was called in medieval rhetorical treatises; drawn from Aristotle — for Aristotle, use of the object, the object in motion, trumps the object at rest — energeia has the capacity to develop in multiple directions

“manuscripts are, by their very nature as eidos, ergon, and energeia, predisposed towards actualizing the works they convey not as invari- ant but as versions in an ever-evolving process of representation. Against those who would see manuscript copies as regressions from an authoritative original to ever fainter avatars of that primal moment, we must recall Aristotle’s notion of form as atemporal actuality.”

“We might also ponder the fact that it is the codex space that makes this multi-representational format of poetic text, rubric, and painting possible. When we consider how each makes a cognitive imprint on the folio, we recognize that, metaphorically at least, the parchment leaf is itself an image or re ection of the mind of the reader or viewer.”

Andrew Taylor, “Getting Technology and Not Getting Theory: TheNew Philology after Twenty-Five Years”

New Philology was “response to the advent of digital culture” but when the Speculum issue appeared, “its as the appear to theory, not to technology, that seemed the key message”

NP rooted in Old French and French medieval literary studies — but also predated by the “manuscript turn” — Sylvia Huot, From Song to Book (1987) — but this turn avoided theory

for some NP was too poststructuralist; for others, perhaps too structuralist in that it is rooted in linguistic turn

loss of chairs in paleography in Britain — not just budget cuts but paleography’s failure to show it is anything other than technical skill

tension in manuscript studies: trying to identify facts while recognizing (pace post-structuralism) that there aren’t any

poststructuralism and ms studies “were antagonistic in too many of their fundamental principles” to e fully worked out in the New Philology

Michael Stolz, “New Philology and the Biogenetics of Texts”

Karl Stockmann; saw New Philology as same as the old one

(idea of mss as spreading mutations in codes of text seems at odds with mise en page described by e.g. Nichols in same issue?)

Julie Orlemanski, “Philology and the Turn Away from the Linguistic Turn”

“I suggest that the polarization of philological ideals and institutional realities no longer serves the aims of medieval studies. At the current moment in the ‘turn away from the linguistic turn,’ scholars might more fruitfully use philology to rede ne the place of language within literary studies and to advocate for the institutional conditions that would make new philological discoveries possible.”

dual meaning of philology: historical language study and “the love of language; “e word’s contrary senses, of discipline and a ection, were cast as antagonists within a par- ticular historical plot: the institutionalization of scholarly practice in the recent past had vitiated some originary wellspring of philological ardour.”

Paul de Man, “The Return of Philology”

relation between philology and textual criticism — they aren’t the same, although it’s often thought they are

turn away from linguistic turn; but lit scholar still have to deal with language. what comes next? maybe philology: “Under current intellectual and institutional circumstances, ‘philology’ holds promise for redefining the disciplinary (rather than transdisciplinary or quasi-universal) significance of language. Its connotations of technicalism, moreover, might be recuperated to oppose the de-skilling of academic labour.”

“Instead of the habituated bifurcation of philology into a rejected institutional form and a remote ideal, I advocate a more immanent practice of critical philology, like that being carried out currently by Michelle R. Warren and Karla Mallette. e works of Warren and Mallette serve as models, among many possible, for what medievalist philology might do to negotiate the disciplinary status of literary studies and medieval studies in the wake of the linguistic turn.”

“the plot, the story line, that was gradually secreted into the word ‘philology’ over the course of the twentieth century. Philology gestures to a distant but vibrant beginning, whether in ancient Alexandria or Renaissance England or Enlightenment Italy, a beginning that has been blocked or crusted over, betrayed, by more recent, and more institutional, developments. e vitality of a renewed philology depends on the resuscitation of its more originary sense.”

Bloch: philology of the interlude; nationalist philology of 19c is true outlier, New Philology links to older rRenaissance roots

institutionalization of literary criticism in 1930s — followed by New Criticism in 50s — made medievalists look increasingly pedantic and obscurantist; “‘Philology’ marks medievalists’ exile from the ‘’now’’ of mainstream literary studies.”

“Simultaneously with the ascendence of New Criticism, however, the war-time arrival in the United States of European scholars like Erich Auerbach, Leo Spitzer, and René Wellek lent a new intellectual vitality to philology. us, even as philology’s relevance was constricting in English departments, it gained cosmopolitan prestige in Romance languages and comparative literature, with their in ux of émigrés.” — Erich Auerbach, showing how literary cir and philology can cohere

Nichols rejected mid-century philologists as not being as invested in manuscripts, too invested in edited texts

New Historicist inflection in contextualism of New Philology, but medievalists excluded from NH project

“As I have shown, ‘philology’ tends to de ne phases in disciplinary history and to cut distinctions in the spectrum of methodological variation.“

Paul de Man, “Return to Philology” — collapses distinctions in practice of philology claiming new criticism and post-structuralism are closer than they think; “makes of ‘philology’ not a term of disciplinary differentiation but rather consolidation”

de Man’s essay made philology cool again, even if he didn’t abide by all its original meanings; “a new semantic wing opened in the philological edifice”

after linguistic turn, eclecticism; “ scholars are groping and scavenging in the detritus of the linguistic turn, searching for what comes next”

“In an intellectual climate that seeks to mark the limits of language, when not everything is a text, what does it mean to read texts and interpret them? How might we, within our interpretive practices, attest to the boundedness, the special case, of language? What broadened set of techniques and claims will help us do so?”

turning to philology to answer this question, often with qualifiers (recycled philology, radical philology, future philology, etc)

“For both literary studies and medieval studies, philology acts as predecessor, component part, and partial synonym. It is a metonymy for each, and in its current re exive and meta-pragmatic usage, philology provides a switch-point for thinking about their relationship to one another. is entwined disciplinary history is one of the reasons why medievalists might want to hold on to the word as they chart their course in the contemporary humanities.”

might fight for philology, for specialization

“I would say that any renovatio of philology in the present ought to encompass pragmatic, critically historicist, and re exive approaches to the concept. at is, to ‘return’ to philology would entail jointly practising philology, historicizing philology, and theorizing philology. “

work of Warren and Mallette as proving ongoing relevance of both philology for understanding past but also metaphilology — convos about its future