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December 6, 2018

The art of textual analysis

Islamabad

December 6, 2018

In this book named ‘Funay Tadveen’, Abida Batool has compiled articles written by renowned subject experts.

The art of textual analysis is the technique of restoring texts as nearly as possible to their original form. Many aspects of textual analysis form part of this compilation.

Textual analysis, properly speaking, is an ancillary academic discipline designed to lay the foundations for the higher criticism, which deals with questions of authenticity and attribution, of interpretation, and of literary and historical evaluation.

Texts have been transmitted in an almost limitless variety of ways, and the criteria employed by the textual critic—technical, philological, literary, or aesthetic, are valid only if applied in awareness of the particular set of historical circumstances governing each case.

For the general reader the benefits of textual analysis are less apparent but are nevertheless real. Most of us are apt to take texts on trust, even to prefer a familiar version, however debased or unauthentic, to the true one.

Improvements in the texts of the great writers cannot be made indefinitely. Yet a surprisingly large number of texts have not yet been edited satisfactorily. Textual analysis is a branch of textual scholarship, philology and literary criticism that is concerned with the identification of textual variants in either manuscripts or printed books. Scribes can make alterations when copying manuscripts by hand.

Given a manuscript copy, several or many copies, but not the original document, the textual critic might seek to reconstruct the original text.

The objective of the textual critic's work is a better understanding of the creation and historical transmission of texts. This understanding may lead to the production of a critical edition containing a scholarly curated text.

The analytical principles contained in this book, although originally developed from textual analysis, have wide applicability to any text susceptible to errors of transmission. While some articles help understand how these principles are practically applied, a few other articles describe it with examples from Urdu literature.

The articles included in the book are by some of the famous authorities on the topic such as Dr. Jamil Jalbi, Dr. Nazir Ahmad, Hafiz Mahmood Shirani, Rashieed Hasan Khan, Attas Durrani, Dr. Gayan Chand, Maalik Raam, etc.

The book contains articles that explain what textual analysis is and how it can be used to arrive at original form. These articles tell us about different analytical theories and ways adopted for textual analysis.

There are many approaches to textual analysis. Scholars have developed guidelines, or canons of textual analysis, to guide the exercise of the critic's judgment in determining the best readings of a text.

Abida Batool has done very excellent job for students and researchers by gathering abundant work of various authors in one volume.

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