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From: Adam Stephanides <adamsteph@earthlink.net>
Subject: (whorl) Re: Editors
Date: Mon, 11 Jun 2001 10:51:33 

Dan'l Danehy-Oakes wrote:

>> The editors tell us in their afterword "These [Horn's narrative] we
>> have left as he composed them, save for correction of obvious errors,
>> division into chapters, and titling those chapters and his volumes."
>> (409)  Which raises the (unanswerable) questions: what did the editors
>> consider to be "obvious errors," and how frequent were they?
> "Unanswerable" is, of course, moot; we can have no definitive
> answers, but we can have answers which satisfy us, individually
> if not collectively.

Theoretically, yes. In practice, I don't see how we can reach satisfactory
answers.  Of course, we can know what they don't consider to be obvious
errors--what they've left stand (though with the caveat in your following
paragraph).  And we can guess that, had they found Narr's narrative too
error-ridden, they wouldn't have bothered to publish it.  But given how
little we know about the editors, I don't see how we can go much beyond

> Actually, at least one question is raised prior to that: "do you
> believe this statement (on the part of the editors)?" It's worth
> noting that there are a few cases where they don't correct some
> extremely obvious errors, or simply add a "[sic]" to them -- such
> as "Horn and Hide."
> So there's this spectrum of possibility, ranging from their having
> made the whole thing up out of their heads to the possibility that
> their statement of editorial principles is strictly accurate.
> Neither of these extreme cases is either interesting or likely,

When you say that it is unlikely that their statement of editorial
principles is strictly accurate, are you referring to the probability that
they introduced inadvertent errors while copying the text?  Or are you
saying that it is almost certain they deliberately made more substantial
changes than they admit?  If the latter, I don't see the grounds for it.

As to interest, I admit that, for those who love these sorts of
wheels-within-wheels, the idea that the editors have added an extra layer of
distortion to Narr's narrative must be irresistible.  Personally, I can do
without it.


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