An Editorial Shipwreck

I’ve been reading the new translation of Sebastiano Timpanaro’s The Genesis of Lachmann’s Method, edited and translated by Glenn W. Most and published by the University of Chicago Press (2005). Or rather, I have been trying to read it, but something seems to have gone terribly wrong with the editing. Here are a few quotations from the translator’s preface:

Under [Pasquali's and Fraenkel's] guidance Timpanaro laid the scholarly foundations for his later work on Classical literature, especially on Latin poetry (above all in the highly technical disciplines of textual criticism and of microexegetical and lexical studies) and on the history of scholarship on Latin poetry during antiquity. In both these fields, Timpanaro made numerous significant and lasting contributions (collected in Timpanaro 1978, 1986, 1994a, and 2001a), though he always preferred the form of the small, astonishingly erudite, highly condensed philological note to that of the expansive literary monograph and though he never himself undertook the full-scale editions of such authors as Ennius and Virgil that his teachers had hoped he would do. (3)

. . . a study of Giacomo Leopardi’s contributions to Classical studies (Timpanaro 1955, 1977a, 1997a): . . . (4)

. . . a number of other studies . . . mostly devoted to nineteenth-century Italian writers (collected in Timpanaro 1965, 1969, 1980a, 1982, 1984a, 1994b). (4)

. . . a collection of essays titled On Materialism (Timpanaro 1970, 1975a, 1997b; English translation, Timpanaro 1975b, 1980b, 1996) . . . (5)

A few articles, mostly on related themes, have also been translated (Timpanaro 1976b, 1977b, 1979, 1984b, 1988). (7)

So what’s wrong with these quotations? Of the 20 articles referenced, only four are actually in the bibliography. In the first three quotations, only the first reference (1955, 1965, 1970) is listed. After that, none of them are except 1979 in the last. It looks as if some editorial peon was either trying to get fired — if so, I hope he succeeded — or didn’t have a clue as to how to avoid firing. If I sound a bit harsh, it is because Timpanaro published dozens of books and articles, and I was hoping for some hints from an expert on which ones to read first, and where to find them. It would be good if the University of Chicago Press would put the correct and complete bibliography on-line somewhere so interested readers can consult it and not have to reconstruct it individually from other sources.

Update and Correction: (6/22, 00:40)

Please read the first comment: it turns out that the book includes two separate bibliographies, only one of which is listed in the table of contents. The other one includes all these papers. I’m still annoyed, but the problem is obviously not gross incompetence at the lower levels of the press but short-sightedness higher up. At least now I can find the various books and papers. Thanks, P.G.N.

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One Response to An Editorial Shipwreck

  1. P. G. Naiditch says:

    This criticism is a little unjust.
    In ‘The Genesis of Lachmann’s Method’, there are two bibliographies: one for Glenn W. Most’s ‘Editor’s Introduction’ (pp. 28-32) and one for Timanaro’s book itself (pp. 189-206).
    It is unfortunate that the first bibliography is not listed on the Contents page.

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