These essays deal with the scholarly study of the genesis, transmission, and editorial reconstitution of texts by exploring the connections between textual instability and textual theory, interpretation, and pedagogy.
What makes this collection unique is that each essay brings a different theoretical orientation-New Historicism, Poststructuralism, or Feminism-to bear upon a different text, such as Whitman's Leaves of Grass, Faulkner's The Sound and the Fury, or hypertext fiction, to explore the dialectical relationship between texts and textuality.
The essays bring some of the textual theories that compete with each other today into contact with a broad range of primarily literary textual histories. That texts are intrinsically unstable, frequently consisting of a series of determinate historical versions, has consequences for all students of literature, because different versions of a literary work frequently help shape different readings independently of the interpretations brought to bear upon them. Textual instability of the works is relevant to our understanding of how the meanings of texts are generated. The contributors build on the numerous challenges to the Anglo-American editorial tradition mounted during the past decade by scholars as diverse as Jerome McGann, D.F. McKenzie, Peter Shillingsburg, D.C. Greetham, Hershel Parker, and Hans Walter Gabler. The volume contributes to the paradigm shift in textual scholarship inaugurated by these scholars. Index.