I finished my New York Uninversity doctorate in May 2003, and the DMU one in July 2003 --yes, almost at the same time. The title of my NYU thesis is "The Phylogeny of the Order in the Canterbury Tales," and you can read the abstract here. My DMU thesis is entitled "The Manuscript Source of Caxton's Second Edition of the Canterbury Tales and its Place in the Textual Tradition of the Tales," read the abstract here. Often I am asked why I wrote two doctoral theses on the same subject. The answer is that they are not on the same subject really, but that they are about very different aspects of the production, reception and textual history of the Canterbury Tales.
My NYU thesis is about the possibility of discovering textual affiliation focusing mainly on the order of the tales. In order to produce this research I used a combination phylogenetic and codicological analyses.
My DMU thesis centers on the investigation of the affiliations of a manuscript which is no longer extant and which Caxton used to correct his first edition of the Canterbury Tales. This work required skills in bibliographical analysis, as well as a clear understanding of how textual variation works. The research was carried out using a combination of computarized tools, more specifically Collate, and manual analysis.
What both works have in common is that they are both concerned with textual critical problems and both of them use some kind of genealogical method to try to understand how the text was transmitted. I suppose that my interest in stemmatics and the material aspects of the book (bibliography and codicology) are direct result of my conception of the text as a written code (I have not yet developed an interest in oral texts) which is likely to change during its transmission. It might seem from my previous work that I am only interested in the Canterbury Tales, but this is not true. I am interested in texts, in general, and in the way in which they are transmitted. You can go to my TextualScholarship.org site if you want to learn more about this.
If, after reading the abstracts and what I have written in this page, you think you might be interested in my work, below you can find .pdf files of both theses. However, I must warn you: neither of the theses have been revised before being published here and they are likely to contain errors. Although these versions are thought to be the same as those publically available through University of Michigan, as a textual critic I am aware that 'textual control' is never as strict as one thinks. I would appreciate if you could contact me if you intend to quote from these works.
I imagine that it is conceivable that you want to read part of these theses out of curiosity or, perhaps, even for pleasure... then, enjoy!
Nota Bene: If you would like to know why I wrote two theses almost simultaneously, then we shall have a dinner "at your cost."
The Phylogeny of the Tale-Order in the Canterbury Tales:
- Front matter
- Chapter I: A Historical Survey of the Scholarship Concerning the Tale-Order Problem
- Chapter II: A History of the Stemmatic Approach to the Criticism of Texts
- Chapter III: Stemmatic Analysis and Tale Order
- Chapter IV: Analysis of the Trees Produced Using Phylogenetic Software
- Chapter V: Relationship between the Tale-Order and the Word-Variant Stemmata
- Chapter VI: Codicological Analysis and Its Implications for the Tale-Order Problem
- Works Cited
The Manuscript Source of Caxton's Second Edition of the Canterbury Tales and Its Place in the Textual Tradition of the Tales:
- Chapter I: A Historical Survey of Scholarship of Cx2, Especially Focused on the Problem of its Source
- Chapter II: Bibliographical Description: The St. John's College, Oxford Copy
- Chapter III: The Order of the Tales
- Chapter IV: Theoretical Aspects of Textual Variation
- Chapter V: Variants Single Lower Case Signatures (a to v)
- Chapter VI: Variants Double Lower Case Signatures (aa to ii)
- Chapter VII: Variants Single Upper Case Signatures (A to L)
- Works Cited