Editorial genesis: From comparing texts (product) to interpreting rewritings (process)

Mahrer, Rudolf; De Angelis, Rossana; Del Lungo, Andrea; Grésillon, Almuth; Lebrave, Jean-Louis; Nicollier Saraillon, Valentine; Poibeau, Thierry; Mélanie-Becquet, Frédérique; Vauthier, Bénédicte (2015). Editorial genesis: From comparing texts (product) to interpreting rewritings (process). In: Cislaru, Georgeta (ed.) Writing(s) at the Crossroads (ed. Georgeta Cislaru) (pp. 151-170). Amsterdam: John Benjamins 10.1075/z.194.08mah

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In literary genetics, “editorial genetics” deals with the “public life” of texts, whereas the writing process is affected by edition and diffusion. Editorial genetics frequently has to deal with cases of “editorial rewriting”: in the literary domain for example, authors frequently modify previously published works, so that several versions may co-exist. We are especially interested in Balzac’s La Bourse (translated in English as The Purse) since we know three authorized versions of this specific work.By comparing different texts associated with a single work, the literary geneticist is facing different products that are themselves the result of a writing process. However, different specificities should be outlined: (1) the writing process does not leave any trace: we just have access to different products/texts and (2) since the texts we compare seem to be achieved, differences must be referred, not to programmatic or temporary linguistic structures, but to the reconfiguration of a pre-existing textuality.Do such products still reflect the processes that have given birth to them? Does the comparison between two texts considered as variations of a same text give access to this transformation’s processes? After describing the objects of this particular textual comparison and the terminology that permits to give an account of such phenomenon, this contribution suggests to express these questions differently, as a matter of poetics of transitions between texts, or, further digging, an hermeneutics of the transition between texts.

Item Type:

Book Section (Book Chapter)


06 Faculty of Humanities > Department of Linguistics and Literary Studies > Institute of Spanish Languages and Literature

UniBE Contributor:

Vauthier, Bénédicte


800 Literature, rhetoric & criticism > 860 Spanish & Portuguese literatures
400 Language > 460 Spanish & Portuguese languages




John Benjamins




Bénédicte Vauthier

Date Deposited:

02 Mar 2016 11:19

Last Modified:

05 Dec 2022 14:52

Publisher DOI:




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