Chapter

Shall These Bones Live?

Jerome J. McGann

in The Beauty of Inflections

Published in print August 1988 | ISBN: 9780198117506
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780191670961 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198117506.003.0004

Series: Clarendon Paperbacks

Shall These Bones Live?

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Textual criticism, in the traditional sense, is an analytic discipline separated into two provinces, the so-called Lower and Higher Criticism. Its practitioners are those guardians of the dry bones, the editors, bibliograpliers, and philologists of various sorts who are best known to the ordinary student of literature for the work they do not do: that is, interpretation and literary criticism. To study literature in the contexts of its origins and its later historical development is to free the reader from the ignorance of his presentness. There can be no present or future, in life or in art, if the past is not a living reality in its pastness. Editors, bibliographers, textual critics, and pedants of all sorts hold the keys in their hands, the keys to the kingdom not merely of literature, but of all human culture.

Keywords: literary studies; philology; structuralist; art; literature; textual criticism

Chapter.  8197 words. 

Subjects: Literary Theory and Cultural Studies

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