Bibliography, Cultural Studies, and Rare Book Librarianship: Tennyson's "Crossing the Bar" and the Cultural Significance of Unauthoritative Texts
Patrick Scott, "Bibliography, Cultural Studies, and Rare Book Librarianship: Tennyson's 'Crossing the Bar' and the Cultural Significance of Unauthoritative Texts." (c) Patrick Scott, 1998.
As part of a symposium on "Who needs textual studies," which has been traditionally concerned with establishing an authoritative text for a literary work, this paper examines the after-lives of Alfred Tennyson's short poem "Crossing the Bar, through three examples of unauthoritative texts, demonstrating the ways a poem can be reused or repackaged by different editors, publishers and readers in different historical settings, and arguing that scholars, collectors and rare book librarians need to build collections of these unauthoritative exempla, not only as research material, but to interest students and the public in the materiality of literary works. Originally presented at the SAMLA Textual and Bibliographical Studies Section, South Atlantic Modern Language Association, November 1998.