Glossator 8 (2013)

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G8 front copy

Glossator 8 (2013)

Kafka’s Zurau Aphorisms — Michael Cisco
Sensuous and Scholarly Reading in Keats’s ‘On First Looking into Chapman’s Homer’ — Thomas Day
Notes to Stephen Rodefer’s Four Lectures (1982) — Ian Heames
Ornate and Explosive Grief: A Comparative Commentary on Frank O’Hara’s “In Memory of My Feelings” and “To Hell with It”, Incorporating a Substantial Gloss on the Serpent in the Poetry of Paul Valéry, and a Theoretical Excursus on Ornate Poetics — Sam Ladkin
On In Memory of Your Occult Convolutions — Richard Parker


Glossator: Practice and Theory of the Commentary

Glossator 10 (2015): Pearl — CFP

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“Perle plesaunte to princes paye / To clanly clos in golde so clere . . . ” (Pearl, lines 1-2).  Illuminating the paradoxical imperative to enclose and display the beautiful, the opening image of Pearl encodes at once the poem’s formal demand for commentary and its own commentarial poetics. On the one hand, the text’s permutative polysemy, aesthetic density, and continuing allegorical refractions persistently elicit explication in a special, conspicuous way. On the other hand, the literary dream-vision produces itself as a dialectical and interpretive reflection with and upon the Pearl herself, an unfinishable gloss on the mystery of “that specyal spyce” (938) whom the poet works to indicate across an impassible margin. Seeking to elaborate, continue, and expand Pearl’s poetics of radiant enclosure, this volume will offer a collective commentary on the full poem, divided according to its constitutive fitts or sections, which are marked by stanza-linking keywords:

I-Spot *
II-Adubbement *
III-More and More *
IV-Pyght *
V-Jueler *
VI-Deme *
VIII-Courtaysye *
IX-Date *
XI-Inoghe *
XIII-Maskeless *
XIV-Jerusalem *
XV-Lesse *
XVI-Mote *
XVII-John *
XVIII-Mone *
XIX-Delyt *
XX-Paye *

The editors of Glossator seek commentarial laborers for each section of this twenty-fold poetic vineyard, to be apportioned on a first-come, first-served basis. Contributions must conform to the journal’s general guidelines for commentary, which are detailed in the About section. Suggested length: 7000 words.  If you are interested in contributing to this volume, please send a brief abstract to the editors at The abstract should indicate which fitt you intend to comment on and the overall approach your commentary will take. NB: an asterisk above indicates that that fitt has been reserved. UPDATE: As the chance of simultaneous submissions has increased, please email editors to confirm availability before composing an abstract.


15 July 2014: Submissions due to editors
October 2014: Submissions returned to authors with comments
15 January 2015: Final Submission
March 2015: Publication

Glossator 7 (2013): The Mystical Text (Black Clouds Course Through Me Unending . . . )

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G7 front copy

Volume 7 (2013): The Mystical Text (Black Clouds Course Through Me Unending . . . )

Editors: Nicola Masciandaro & Eugene Thacker

In Priora Extendens Me: Confessiones, IX.x.23-25 – Kevin Hart
Abandonment: Giving Voice in the Desert – Ron Broglio
Commentarial Nothingness – Daniel Colucciello Barber
Thinking the Charnel Ground (the Charnel Ground Thinking): Auto-Commentary and Death in Esoteric Buddhism – Timothy Morton
When Death Became a Creature: Saint Francis & Sister Death – Beatrice Marovich
Uncoupling the Hermit: Richard Rolle’s Hermit-ing – Christopher Roman
The Authority of Reason: on John Scottus Eriugena’s Periphyseon, I.508C-513C – Cinzia Arruzza
Silvering, or the Role of Mysticism in German Idealism -Daniel Whistler
Sophia Within, Without Sophia, Whither Sophia: The Longing of Philip K. Dick – Aron Dunlap & Joshua Ramey
The Voice of the Mirror: Strange Address in Hildegard of Bingen – Karmen MacKendrick

It is always surprising to discover that the great mystics produced so much, that they left so many treatises. Undoubtedly their intention was to celebrate God and nothing else. This is true in part, but only in part. We do not create a body of work without attaching ourselves to it, without subjugating ourselves to it. Writing is the least ascetic of all actions . . . The mystics and their ‘’collected works.” When one addresses oneself to God, and to God alone, as they claim to do, one should be careful not to write. God doesn’t read . . . — E. M. Cioran, The Trouble with Being Born


Best Commentaries of 2011-12

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[compiled by the editorial board]

Dante Alighieri. Divine Comedy. 3 vols. Trans. Robert M. Durling. Notes by Ronald L. Martinez and Robert M. Durling. Oxford, 1997-2011.

Rodney Ascher. Room 237. IFC Films, 2012.

Selected Philosophical Poems of Tommaso Campanella: A Bilingual Edition. Ed. and trans. Sherry Roush. University of Chicago Press, 2011.

Tommaso Campanella. Selected Philosophical Poems. Edited, translated, and annotated by Sherry Roush. Fabrizio Serra, 2011.

The Cambridge Edition of the Works of Ben Jonson. Eds. David Bevington, Martin Butler, and Ian Donaldson. 7 volumes. Cambridge, 2012.

Dark Chaucer. Eds. Nicola Masciandaro, Eileen Joy, and Myra Seaman. punctum, 2012.

Quentin Meillassoux. The Number and the Siren. Trans. Robin Mackay. Urbanomic, 2012.

On the Ecclesiastical Hierarchy: The Thirteenth-Century Paris Textbook Edition. Trans. L. M. Harrington. Peeters, 2011.

Stephen Barney, Andrew Galloway, et al. The Penn Commentary on Piers Plowman. 5 volumes. University of Pennsylvania Press, 2006-present. [Volume 1 and Volume 5 completed].

J.H. Prynne. George Herbert, ‘Love [III]’: A Discursive Commentary. 2011.

Reading Derrida’s Of Grammatology. Eds.  Sean Gaston, Ian Maclachlan. Continuum, 2011.

Steven Shaviro, “Melancholia, or, The Romantic Anti-Sublime,” Sequence 1.1 (2012)

Mabja Jangchub Tsondru. Ornament of Reason: The Great Commentary to Nagarjuna’s Root of the Middle Way. Trans. Dharmachakra Translation Committee. Shambala, 2011.

Elevating the Footnote: Glossator 9 CFP

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Kepler vita notes

Glossator: Practice and Theory of the Commentary

Volume 9 (Fall 2013) – Open-Topic


For the Fall 2013 issue, the editors invite submissions on any topic. See the About section for general submission guidelines.

Deadline: 1 May 2013.

 For this issue, we are above all interested in publishing commentaries that use footnotes or other similar methods of annotation for the purpose of commentary. Suggested primary and secondary reading: Johannes Kepler, Kepler’s Somnium: The Dream, or Posthumous Work of Lunar Astronomy, trans. with commentary by Edward Rosen (Madison: University of Wisconsin, 1967);  Anthony Grafton, The Footnote: A Curious History (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1999); Vladimir Nabokov, Pale Fire (1962); Evelyn Byrd Tribble, “‘Like a Looking-Glas in the Frame’: From the Marginal Note to the Footnote” in The Margins of the Text, ed. David Greetham (Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press, 1997), 229-44; Edward Gibbon, The History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire (1788-9); Chuck Zerby, The Devil’s Details: A History of Footnotes (New York: Touchstone, 2002); Jacques Derrida, “This Is Not An Oral Footnote,” in Annotation and Its Texts, ed. Stephen A. Barney (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1991), 192-205; Jonathan Swift, A Tale of A Tub, 5th edition (1710).

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