[30 March 2009]
For some reason, lately I’ve found an old remark of Allen Renear’s running through my head.
“We can disagree about many things; but can we disagree about everything?
“Or would that be like positing the existence of an airline so small, it has no nonstop flights?”
[Memory tells me that he said this at a meeting of the Society for Textual Scholarship; Google, aided by Robin Cover’s Cover Pages, tells me that it was in April 1995.]
It’s on my mind, perhaps, because with Claus Huitfeldt and Yves Marcoux I’ve been doing some work on a formal model of transcription, and when we have examined how multiple divergent transcriptions of the same exemplar look in our model, it has proven much harder than I would have thought possible to make the transcriptions actually contradict one another. (More on this in another post, perhaps.)