Textual genesis
in Reading poetry
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This chapter talks about the textual genesis of the poem, including how it came to be written, how it modifies the generating facts, and how it reached its final form. It is possible to identify two opposed views on the matter. The first is based upon an evolutionary model of text production, seeing publication as the birth of the text, before which is an avant-texte period corresponding to embryonic growth. The second view of textual genesis is rather different. It views instability and the existence of multiple variations as the fundamental condition of the literary text, seeing, not a succession of drafts, each getting closer and closer to the final canonical text, but a network of notionally equal versions. The chapter ends with a more general comment on textual genesis.


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