- Editing Illustrated Books: Papers Given at the Fifteenth Annual Conference on Editorial Problems, University of Toronto, 2–3 November 1979 ed. by William Blissett (review)
- University of Toronto Quarterly
- University of Toronto Press
- Volume 50, Number 4, Summer 1981
- pp. 100-103
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- Additional Information
larly valuable account, there being so little study of our tradition), Rupert Brooke, Sidney, translation, satire, and a good deal more. Throughout there is a demonstrated skill in exposition, a nice turn of scholarly inquisitiveness, a happy attention to detail, and an admirable willingness to grant great authors their askings. Thomas can run a stiff line: 'the paraphrastic kind of translation that seeks to create responses equivalent to those created in the original audience comes the closest to fulfilling the desires of those readers who wish to experience as much as possible of the literary excellence of the original works' (p 160). And occasionally the rough side of his tongue rasps away at silliness, but no brutal critical wars are waged. It might be admitted, in fact, that theory is not a strength of the individual essays, a fortiori of the collection as a whole - but that is a purely professional remark. On the negative side, one might also say (and without contradicting the judgment about theory) that some of the fun is diminished by Thomas's too-pressing analytic spirit, which sometimes lets the air out: he is enjoying his authors, but he's not laughing. This spirit shows to disadvantage in the index, which unbelievably in a book of this kind runs from page 343 to page 389, and includes entries for'Africa' and 'agriculture,' 'Zeus' and 'Zollverein': knowing the industry and proclivities of Waterloo (where Thomas teaches and where the book was published), Isuspecta computer at work (and some of the typos smell of the terminal); knowing the industry and proclivities of our colleagues, I suspect that no one will ever consult the index, so perhaps as little is lost as is gained by it. The exordial striving in 'To the Reader, especially the Potential Reader' is also misjudged, for the attempts to tie the essays together made here (and repeated at the section divisions throughout the book) are a trifle arch and, I think, unsuccessful. They are also unnecessary, for the pleasures and benefits are in the individual pieces; unity comes from the authorial voice which, even when one wants to dissent from assertion, implication, or tone, is a welcome one, inviting contemplation, admiration, and a humane balance. (JOHN M. ROBSON) William Blissett, editor. Editing Illustrated Books:Papers Given at the Fifteenth Annual Conference on Editorial Problems, University of Toran/a, 2-3 November '979 Garland Publishing. '33, iUus. $'7.00 For fifteen volumes the Toronto Conference on Editorial Problems has sustained high interest and standards in directing attention to major issues in scholarly publishing. The current volume, continuing those HUMANITIES 101 standards, follows the fourteenth volume's lead (Editing Correspondence) in moving away from a single historical period to 'the specific editorial problems that arise in connection with illustration: as William Blissett says in his introduction. He defines illustration, noting that Originally the term referred to what shed light, made lustrous, beautified, exemplified , elucidated, or, in these less illumined days, what renders clear by means of drawings or pictures. The entire etymology concerns, variously, the five editors whose papers are gathered here along with some illustrations. They treat medieval illumination, eighteenth-century master-drawings (Tiepolo), late eighteenth-century illustrated folio publishers and Blake, nineteenth-century illustration on microfiche, and contemporary illustration from the private presses. Differing and usefully complementary meanings for 'editing' these illustrated books appears in these papers. Luba Eleen, giving a tempting glimpse of her forthcoming /lIustration of the Pauline Epistles, discusses the role of models for the medieval illuminator in copying, with significant changes, cycles of biblical pictures, traditional in subject-matter (whether narrative or doctrinal) as well as in design motifs. By studying various manuscripts of the Acts of the Apostles (made at Verona, first half of the thirteenth century) and the Pauline Epistles (Paris, 1220S) Eleen can determine priorities and lines of descent of these manuscripts. Hence 'editing' appears in two important senses in her paper: the illuminator was himself an editor in using picture cycles available to him as models; and the modern scholaris an editorin studying these family trees of illuminations. In preparing Tiepolo's drawings for his edition George Knox has come upon the conundrum of widely...