Critical edition of the cycle

Based on the stemmata selected for the Roman de Meliadus (Morato) and for the Compilazione guironiana (Lagomarsini), the next step will be to verify their applicability to the preparation of the critical edition. We intend to set aside the concept of base manuscript, which has been applied to romance philology in recent decades. Instead, we will recover the notion of reference manuscript for the linguistic aspects of the text ("manuscrit de surface", as Jacques Monfrin termed it): a manuscript chosen on the basis of what Alberto Varvaro defines as the stemmatic "competence", that is the textual authority that a given manuscript owes only to its position in the genealogy of the textual tradition.

The manuscript thus chosen will not be our base manuscript: the critical text will move beyond that, and not only in the cases where the manuscript may contain "obvious" errors, but wherever the text is deemed to be isolated, among the minority in the stemmatic logic, and therefore judged innovative with respect to its sources.

A critical text thus established requires an apparatus that accounts for the choices made, offering the reader all the variants present in the different families of the stemma, including at the least a representative selection of the witnesses of each family. This method will surpass the practice that limits itself to a selection of variants which are not systematically recorded.

The process of critical edition will thus be a system that aims to represent the totality of the textual tradition for each unit of the Guiron cycle. It will focus on reconstruction, not of the original text whose very existence is questionable, but of the highest stage of the tradition which the stemma from time to time allows us to access.

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