Scholarly Editing

The Annual of the Association for Documentary Editing

2015, Volume 36


Editors' Introduction to the 2015 Issue of Scholarly Editing: The Annual of the Association for Documentary Editing

The fourth issue of Scholarly Editing: The Annual of the Association for Documentary Editing includes two new developments. First, we are pleased to introduce a new feature, "Reflections on the Editor's Craft," where we will publish the views of experienced editors on practical aspects of editing. In our inaugural essay, "Editing Death: An Element of Craft," Ann D. Gordon discusses the challenge editors face in handling a subject's death, and offers the case of Elizabeth Cady Stanton as an example. Also, this issue of Scholarly Editing: The Annual of the Association for Documentary Editing includes for the first time an edition that eschews the linear presentation of text favored by TEI (Text Encoding Initiative) markup. Daniel Carter's edition of Language poet Lyn Hejinian's autobiographical My Life uses comma separated values, Python, and Javascript to visualize repetition and variation in the work. Carter also includes "What's Missing from My Life," Hejinian's essay that expands upon on the work Carter has edited. We are excited to present this experimental method of digital editing.

Laura L. Mielke and Martha Baldwin have contributed an edition of a play by Kate Edwards Swayze, “a black diamond among thim American wifes”: Kate Edwards Swayze’s Antislavery Adaptation of George Colman’s Inkle and Yarico. Swayze's abolitionist play adapted a popular British comic opera about an interracial romance by placing it firmly in the context of American slavery. The edition makes available a fascinating and neglected antislavery document, and even offers a Juxta visualization of the difference between Swayze's drama and her British source text.

Another edition in this year's issue also focuses on an antislavery text. Todd Thompson and Jessica Showalter have edited a satirical poem by James Russell Lowell that criticizes the US-Mexico War and was reprinted in several American newspapers. The edition presents the text of "LETTER FROM A VOLUNTEER IN SALTILLO," noting all the variants that occurred among the six reprints as it was recontextualized in different periodicals, producing, as the editors put it, "not just a study of textual variants but also a story about editors and their choices."

We continue to offer editions of texts in languages other than English. Elena Pierazzo's Lo Stufaiuolo by Anton Francesco Doni: A Scholarly Edition presents the sixteenth-century Italian comedy in a triple format, with facsimile, diplomatic, and reading editions of two different manuscript versions of the play. The diplomatic editions have been put into Juxta to visualize their differences. Pierazzo's careful introduction and detailed editing have produced a flexible and robust edition.

This issue of Scholarly Editing also offers an essay by Amanda Gagel, "Letters as Critical Texts: A Consideration of Mark Twain’s 'Ashcroft-Lyon Manuscript,'" which examines the theoretical difficulties surrounding letters, and James P. McClure's address as the president of the Association for Documentary Editing, presented at the annual meeting in 2014. We are also pleased to offer reviews of three new scholarly editions and an annotated list of recently published editions.

All of this material reflects the vibrant and varied world of editorial scholarship in both print and digital environments.