Marta Werner

«In cabinets - be shown -». The Textual Scholar as Curator not Editor

  • Abstract

Informations and abstract

Keywords: editing; curation; archive; Emily Dickinson, Anthropocene, ethics of care.

This essay, composed in the style of a personal meditation, trespasses the disciplinary boundaries generally taken to demarcate the separate roles of archivistcurators and scholarly editors to propose that the work of scholarly editing, or the “putting forthµ of the work in published form, is profoundly indebted to the quieter, intuitive and empathetic work of curation, or the “caring forµ the constellation of material documents that comprise the work. Originally conceived as a contribution to a symposium on editing and curation, its structure is guided by the following questions: In what ways do you “curateµ poetry? And for whom? How would you define your own curatorial poetics? How are different acts of curation a product of their historical moment? From what sources – canonical or otherwise – do you derive your thinking about curating? While the essay’s primary examples are drawn from the late writings of Emily Dickinson, it also touches on the collages of Janet Malcolm and the shape-poems of George Herbert. The essay ends with a consideration of new questions about the relationship of curation and care in the 21st century that issue from the physical space the digital archive and the temporal space of the Anthropocene itself.

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