Identifying and Emending the Copy-Text

5In addition to being the version of the text that is the most accurate representation of George Santayana’s intention, the editors also try to make sure that the copy-text is the most fully developed version of the text. One way to ensure this is to choose one of the holograph forms: that is a handwritten copy of the author’s work. A typescript is also a possibility, but since it is difficult to verify whether a typesript has been typed by the author himself, they are often ruled out. In the case of Santayana’s works a Scribner’s version usually exists and that version is most often considered the authoritative text and becomes the copy-text unless a manuscript of Santayana’s is available.

The process of emending the copy-text is another point at which different versions of the texts or correspondence can be helpful to the project editors. If there are handwritten changes to a typescript that match Santayana’s writing or if he corresponded with the publishers or others about changes in the text, then the editors can know that those changes had authorial intent. Emending the text is done sparingly by the project editors as they want to keep the text as close to Santayana’s hand as possible. Editors try to emend the text only in the case of clear grammatical errors or misspellings. All emendations are recorded on an “emendations list” that will become part of the textual apparatus.

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