Forthcoming: Commenting and Commentary as an Interpretive Mode in Medieval and Early Modern Europe

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Commenting and Commentary as an Interpretive Mode in Medieval and Early Modern Europe

Edited by Christina Lechtermann and Markus Stock

Christina Lechtermann / Markus Stock – Introduction: Commenting and Commentary as an Interpretive Mode in Medieval and Early Modern Europe

Erik Kwakkel – The Pro-Active Scribe: Preparing the Margins of Annotated Manuscripts

Kristin Böse – Thinking from the Margins: Opening and Closing Illuminations and their Commentary Functions around 1000

Drew Hicks – Reading Texts within Texts: The Special Case of Lemmata

Christina Lechtermann – The In-/Coherences of Narrative Commentary: Commentarial Forms in the Anegenge

Elisa Brilli – Dante’s Self-Commentary and the Call for Interpretation

Christine Ott and Philip Stockbrugger – Spiritualizing Petrarchism, “Poeticizing” the Bible: Two Counter-Reformation Self-Commentaries

Andrea Baldan – The Power of Glosses: Francesco Fulvio Frugoni’s Self-Commentary and Literary Criticism in the Tribunal della Critica

Magnus Ulrich Ferber – Commenting on a Purged Model: The M. Valerii Martialis Epigrammaton libri omnes novis commentariis illustrati of the Jesuit Matthäus Rader (1602)

Glossator 12: Cristina Campo: Translation / Commentary — CFP

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Glossator 12: Cristina Campo: Translation / Commentary
Editors: Nicola Masciandaro & Andrea di Serego Alighieri

The poet and writer Cristina Campo (Vittoria Guerrini, 1923-1977) is primarily known in Italy as a translator, especially of modernist poetic works and the writings of Simone Weil. Translation was for her an essential task and experience. As Margherita Pieracci Harwell recalls, “the hospitality offered to the poet to be translated, this self-emptying of the interpreter (a participatory offering, in which all the powers of her genius are stretched to the extreme because the other’s voice lives without distortions)—Cristina more than anyone proposed this as a goal.”

This volume proposes to reflect on this interface of reading and writing by focusing on the commentarial potential of Campo’s work, whose penetrating quality of attention flashes like a spark across the “margin between the thing to be transmitted and the act of transmission” (Agamben). As the alienation of this margin in modernity is evidenced by “the loss of the commentary and the gloss as creative forms” (Agamben), so does the close reading of Campo’s texts hold the promise of a temporary suspension of this alienation. Likewise, “the only non-frivolous attitude” in our “age of purely horizontal progress” is figured for Campo by the one who, even while standing in line for the guillotine, remains reading a book (“The Unforgiveable”). In this epoch, like no other “so obsessed by its own past and so unable to create a vital relationship with it” (Agamben), Campo’s dedication to the “sapore massimo d’ogni parola” [maximum savor of each word] elicits the attention, the love, of the glossator.

In a contemporary context in which the disconnection between the old and the new makes both strictly inaccessible, Cristina Campo’s work stands like a diamond point through which one may reflect on the multitemporal (and eternal) dimension of writing. As Emanuele Coccia observes, what we call tradition is nothing but the pocket of time which the delay of its revelation continues to fill—a delay to which commentary holds a special relation: “that which takes place in a comment is a peculiar suspension of this delay … commentary represents a most refined technique of articulating and contracting the times in which every language lives.”

For this volume of Glossator, the editors are seeking contributions in the form of:

  1. Commentaries on Campo’s texts (essays, poetry, translations)
  2. Annotated translations of Campo’s writings
  3. Critical essays on Campo’s work in connection with the principle of commentary.

The volume will include a translation of “Gli Imperdonabili,” with comments by the editors.

Proposals of 300-500 words should be emailed to the editors: glossatori AT gmail DOT com

Submissions in Italian will also be considered.

Deadline for proposals: 1 July 2019.

Before submitting a proposal, please review the journal’s guidelines.

Glossator 10 (2018): Thrones

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GLOSSATOR 10 (2018)

Astern in the Dinghy: Commentaries on Ezra’s Pound’s Thrones de los Cantares 96-109

Edited by Alexander Howard

You in the dinghy (piccioletta) astern there! (CIX/788)

Mr. Pound Goes to Washington
Alexander Howard (University of Sydney)

Some Contexts for Canto XCVI
Richard Parker (University of Surrey)

Gold and/or Humaneness: Pound’s Vision of Civilization in Canto XCVII
Roxana Preda (University of Edinburgh)

Hilarious Commentary: Ezra Pound’s Canto XCVIII
Peter Nicholls (New York University)

“Tinkle, tinkle, two tongues”: Sound, Sign, Canto XCIX
Michael Kindellan (University of Sheffield)

“In the intellect possible”: Revisionism and Aesopian Language in Canto C
Alex Pestell (Independent Scholar)

Deep Rustication in Canto CI
Mark Byron (University of Sydney)

Shipwrecks and Mountaintops: Notes on Canto CII
Mark Steven (University of Exeter)

Revised Intentions: James Buchanan and the Antebellum White House in Canto CIII
James Dowthwaite (University of Göttingen)

Exploring Permanent Values: Canto CIV
Archie Henderson (Independent Scholar)

Canto CV: A Divagation?
Alec Marsh (Muhlenberg College)

So Slow: Canto CVI
Sean Pryor (University of New South Wales)

‘The clearest mind ever in England’: Pound’s Late Paradisal in Canto CVII
Miranda Hickman (McGill University)

Three Ways of Looking at a Canto: Navigating Canto CVIII
Kristin Grogan (Exeter College, University of Oxford)

‘To the king onely to put value’: Monarchy and Commons in Pound’s Canto CIX
Alex Niven (University of Newcastle)

print volume:

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Glossator 9 (2015): Pearl

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Glossator 9 (2015): Pearl

Edited by Nicola Masciandaro & Karl Steel

“Innoghe”: A Preface on Inexhaustibility –  Karl Steel

The Arbor and the Pearl: Encapsulating Meaning in “Spot” –  William M. Storm

Pearl, Fitt II –  Kevin Marti

Pearl, Fitt III (“more and more”) –  Piotr Spyra

“Pyȝt”: Ornament, Place, and Site – A Commentary on the Fourth Fitt of Pearl –  Daniel C. Remein

Meeting One’s Maker: The Jeweler in Fitt V of Pearl –  Noelle Phillips

“Mercy Schal Hyr Craftez Kyþe”: Learning to Perform Re-Deeming Readings of Materiality in Pearl –  James C. Staples

Fitt 7: Blysse / (Envy) –  Paul Megna

Pearl, Fitt VIII –  Kevin Marti

“Ther is no date”: The Middle English Pearl and its Work – Walter Wadiak

Fitt X – More – Travis Neel

Enough (Section XI) –  Monika Otter

Fitt XII: Ryght –  Kay Miller

Pearl, Fytt XIII –  A. W. Strouse

The Jerusalem Lamb of PEARL –  Jane Beal

Fitt 15 – Lesse –Tekla Bude

Out, Out, Damned Spot: Mote in Pearl and the Poems of the Pearl Manuscript –  Karen Bollermann

Seeing John: A Commentary on the Link Word of Pearl Fitt XVII – Karen Elizabeth Gross

Theoretical Lunacy: Moon, Text, and Vision in Fitt XVIII –  Bruno M. Shah & Beth Sutherland

Delyt and Desire: Ways of Seeing in Pearl –  Anne Baden-Daintree

Fitt XX – “Paye” –  David Coley

Print volume:

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Glossator 11 (2016): Marianne Moore – CFP

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Marianne Moore’s indictment of her own craft remains to this day a shrewd affront to critical exegesis. Piqued by ‘the immovable critic’, she treads a fine line in ‘Poetry’ between approbation and displeasure, a feeling entangled in the confession that ‘we do not admire what / we cannot understand’. Notwithstanding her penchant for axioms of this sort, Moore inclines elsewhere to a mode of expression that is dense, riddling and allusive; a poetics fit for sustained ‘inspection’, perhaps, but one whose fluid textual condition also resists ‘high sounding interpretation’. Given Moore’s tendency to revise published material – shuffling, redacting, reworking, restoring – it has often been difficult to say what ‘all this fiddle’ amounts to.

In taking Moore’s doubts about interpretation seriously, this special issue of Glossator proposes a broad approach to her verse and the stylistics of commentary. Glossing, annotating, doodling, and footnoting – Moore was always sensitive to smaller forms of labour and textual diversion, and the apparatus of her Collected Poems (‘A Note on the Notes’) bears witness to a bashful enthusiasm for marginalia, for ‘provisos, detainments, and postscripts’. Glossator welcomes contributions of two kinds, then: essays about the commentarial mode; and actual commentaries, queries and notes on particular poems.

Essays of 4000-6000 words may explore, but are not limited to, the following texts and topics:

  • Borrowing, allusion, and intertextuality in Moore’s verse – networks of influence – and our means of describing them
  • Moore’s critical work – for The Dial, and in The Complete Prose (1986)
  • Moore’s paratexts – ‘A Note on the Notes’ in the Collected Poems (1952); ‘Foreword’ to The Fables of La Fontaine: A Complete New Translation (1954); ‘Foreword’ to A Marianne Moore Reader (1961)
  • The significance and scope of scholarly editions by Robin Schulze (2002) and Heather Cass White (2008, 2012)
  • The relationship between life-writing and textual commentary, with particular attention to Linda Leavell’s Holding on Upside Down: The Life and Work of Marianne Moore (2013)

Contributors are encouraged to consult the journal’s general guidelines for commentary, which are detailed in the About section, and to peruse the journal’s Archive. If you are interested in contributing to this volume, please send a brief abstract to Dr Edward Allen, the issue editor, at


2 October 2015: Abstract proposal due to editor
1 January 2016: Decision regarding abstracts and selection of contributors
24 June 2016: Final Submission
August 2016: Publication


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