14.0096 on commentaries

From: Humanist Discussion Group (willard@lists.village.virginia.edu)
Date: Thu Jul 06 2000 - 05:52:32 CUT

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                    Humanist Discussion Group, Vol. 14, No. 96.
           Centre for Computing in the Humanities, King's College London

       [1] From: Tzvee Zahavy <tzvee@zahavy.com> (13)
             Subject: articles on Midrash

       [2] From: Han Baltussen <han.baltussen@kcl.ac.uk> (53)
             Subject: Re: 14.0093 thoughts on commentaries

             Date: Thu, 06 Jul 2000 06:33:59 +0100
             From: Tzvee Zahavy <tzvee@zahavy.com>
             Subject: articles on Midrash

    At 12:07 AM 7/5/00 -0400, you wrote:
    > 1) 14.0089 thoughts on commentaries & humanities computing
    > by Humanist Discussion Group <willard@lists.village.virginia.edu>
    > (by way of Willard McCarty <willard.mccarty@kcl.ac.uk

    Hi Willard,

    I thought these links to articles I wrote would be useful background for
    the current discussion:
    Biblical Criticism: Midrash and Medieval Commentary,
    and a review of Intertextuality and the Reading of Midrash, at

    Best wishes,

             Date: Thu, 06 Jul 2000 06:36:56 +0100
             From: Han Baltussen <han.baltussen@kcl.ac.uk>
             Subject: Re: 14.0093 thoughts on commentaries


    A very brief reaction to O'Donnel with whom a very much agree:

    he wrote

    >My largest reservation about the Most collection is that it concentrates
    >on the intellectual act and the relationship of text and commentary, but
    >does not put sufficiently in play the physical nature of the commentary as
    >object and its development over time. Other than what one can infer from
    >histories of classical scholarship and the like, I don't see that *this*
    >task has ever been properly done.

    there are some attempts to deal with this aspect, including by myself, but
    the main problem is that commentary is the kind of meta-activity that
    occurs in many different areas. I have started some time ago to work on the
    late commentators on Aristotle, and have collected quite some material
    ranging from legal, religious, literary to philosophical texts. My main
    objective is to deal with earliest forms of polemic and exegesis and to
    describe the emergence of "commentary" as a genre and as a tool, and I
    would argue that the different areas can illuminate each other when it
    comes to analysing and describing the phenomenology of the commentator's

    Others like e.g. Jaap Mansfeld (*Prolegomena 1994; Prolegomena Mathematica
    1998) and Ineke Sluiter (who has a paper in the Most volume) have written
    or are in the process of writing on such issues (curiously we're all Dutch,
    but that's an aside).

    The Project I am working for here at King's College which produces
    translations of these late commentators, is making available a lot of the
    relevant material to enable others to deal with issues like 'physical
    nature and development'.

    I didn't mean this to be a plug for the Project/my own work (or at least
    not only), but to strengthen O'Donnel's point, yet at the same time
    indicate that this is not an omission which will remain there for long
    (O'D. already indicated a similar point in his review of the amusing and
    learned book by A. Grafton, *The Footnote, A Curious History* 1997
    Faber&Faber, in Brynn Mawr Classical Review
    http://ccat.sas.upenn.edu/bmcr/1998/98.1.05.html which was actually one of
    my points of encouragement to go on with what I had started.)

    Moreover, sometimes it is just very difficult to be aware of what's there
    on this topic simply because it requires an interdisciplinary outlook, or
    else because publications get overlooked on account of unhelpful titles.

    Han Baltussen

    PS please edit which ever way you like.

    Dr Han Baltussen

    Research Associate & Assistant Editor
    to the Ancient Commentators Project
    Dept. of Philosophy
    Kings College London
    London WC2R 2LS
    tel. (0)20-7848-2528
    fax. (0)20-7848-2317

    Any queries on Project matters during my absence can be directed to
    Ms Eleni Vambouli (eleni.vambouli@kcl.ac.uk) or
    Dr Eleni Volonaki (eleni.volonaki@kcl.ac.uk)

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