Ma(r)king the Text The Presentation of Meaning on the Literary Page
First published in 2000, this volume is a unique collection of essays which draws our attention to the importance of those textual elements traditionally ignored in literary criticism. These include punctuation, footnotes, epigraphs, typography, cover design, white space and marginalia; features which significantly affect the meaning of a literary text.
The first section of the book opens with a proposal for a new theory of punctuation. The essays which follow are devoted to detailed interpretations of particular marks in the work of individual writers, including Spenser, Richardson and George Eliot.
The consequences of this approach to the literary text are examined in the second section of the book, which begins with a debate on editorial practice and responsibility, and features insights from editors. Attention is drawn in particular to the special issues thrown up by dramatic texts, translations and electronic editions.
The relationship of marks to the main text is far from subordinate, and we cannot appreciate the full interpretative potential of a text without considering this. The essays here compel us to assess the interaction of textual and literary meaning. To mark a text is to make it.
Part 1. Redefining Marks. 1. Mark, Space, Axis, Function: Towards a (New) Theory of Punctuation on Historical Principles. John Lennard. 2. ‘[T]o Correspond with You in Green-Covered Volumes’: George Eliot, G.H. Lewes and the Production of Her Books. Gail Elizabeth Korn. 3. Signs in the Text: the Role of Epigraphs, Footnotes and Typography in Clarifying the Narrator-Character Relationship in Stendhal’s Le Rouge et le Noir. David Scott. 4. Annotating Anonymity, or Putting a Gloss on The Shepheardes Calendar. Richard A. McCabe. 5. The Critic in the Text: Footnotes and Marginalia in the Epilogue to Alasdair Gray’s Lanark: A Life in Four Books. Glyn White. 6. ‘Transplanted into More Congenial Soil’: Footnoting the Self in the Poetry of Charlotte Smith. Jacqueline Labbe. 7. The Meaning of Margin: White Space and Disagreement in Whistler’s The Gentle Art of Makign Enemies. Nick Frankel. 8. ‘Attending to the Minute’: Richardson’s Revisions of Italics in Pamela. Joe Bray. 9. The Re-mark-able Rise of ‘…’: Reading Ellipsis Marks in Literary Texts. Anne C. Henry. 10. Where Angels Fear to Read. Randall McLeod. Part 2. Editing Marks. 11. Historical Reading and Editorial Practice. Kelvin Everest. 12. Editing Keats’s Hands. Bharat Tandon. 13. Speaking Commas \ Reading Comas: Punctuating Mansfield Park. Kathryn Sutherland. 14. Seeing the Rhythm: an Interpretation of Sixteenth-Century Punctuation and Metrical Practice. Ros King. 15. Performing Dramatic Marks: Stage Directions and the Revival of Caste. Mirian Handley. 16. Editing Aubrey. Kate Bennett. 17. Typographic Translation: the Portuguese Edition of Tristram Shandy (1997-98). Manuel Portela. 18. Ma(r)king the Electronic Text: How, Why and for Whom? Peter Robinson. 19. Endnote: What is Text? Jerome McGann.