Reading List

Jerome J. McGann, The Textual Condition, Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1991. Excerpts can be found on the Net. See in particular ch.1, which you can recover from Googlebooks in conjunction with the following url:

Peter L. Shillingsburg, From Gutenberg to Google, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2006, ch.1: ‘Manuscript, Book and Text in the Twenty-First Century’

‘How Literary Works Exist’, Text and Genre in Reconstruction, Cambridge: Openbook, 2010, 165-82; reprinted in Peter L. Shillingsburg, Textuality and Knowledge, University Park: Pennsylvania State University Press, 2017, pp.115-33. To be found at:

G. Thomas Tanselle, ‘Textual Criticism aned Deconstruction’ Studies in Bibliography 43, 1990, pp. 1-33; reprinted in Literature and Artefacts, Charlottesville: University of Virginia, 1998. [Studies in Bibliography can be found on JStor and Project Muse.]

Gunter Martens, ‘What Is a Text?’, Contemporary German Editorial Theory, ed. Hans Walter Gabler et al., Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press, 1995, pp.209-31

Marshall McLuhan, The Gutenberg Galaxy, London: RKP, 1962

Sukanta Chaudhuri, The Metaphysics of Text, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2010. (There is an Indian edition.)

Adriaan van der Weel, Changing Our Textual Minds, Manchester University Press, 2011

PDF of entire book at

Case studies:

Jonathan Bate, ‘The Case for the Folio’, 2007 (pdf copy available)

[obviously to be read in conjunction with a copy of Shakespeare’s Works]

W.B. Yeats, A Variorum Edition of the Poems of W.B. Yeats, ed. Peter Allt and Russell King Alspach, New York: Macmillan, 1957

Marianne Moore, Becoming Marianne Moore: Early Poems, 1954-2004, ed. Robin G. Schulze, Berkeley: University of California Press, 2002

Some theory:

If you wish to grapple with some really knotty but rewarding theory, here are some seminal texts:

Roland Barthes, Writing Degree Zero, trans. Annette Lavers and Colin Smith, London: Jonathan Cape, 1967

————— ‘The Death of the Author’, Image Music Text, trans. Stephen Heath, 1977, rpt. London: Flamingo/Fontana, 1984

Jacques Derrida, ‘Structure, Sign, and Play’, trans. by Alan Bass. Writing and Difference. London: Routledge, 1978

If ‘Structure, Sign…’ has whetted your appetite for Derrida, you might wish to look at

————— ‘Plato’s Pharmacy’, Dissemination, trans. Barbara Johnson, London: Athlone Press, 1981

Hélène Cixous, Three Steps on the Ladder of Writing, trans. Sarah Cornell and Susan Sellers, New York: Columbia University Press, 1993

Finally, look at these allegories about language and texts by Jorge Luis Borges:

These stories can be found in various collections including Labyrinths, trans. D.A. Yates and J.E. Irby, 1962, rpt. Harmondsworth: Penguin, 1970.

‘The Garden of Forking Paths’

‘Pierre Menard, Author of the Quixote

‘The Library of Babel’

‘Tlön, Uqbar, Orbius Tertius’

‘Funes the Memorius’

In case of difficulty in locating some of the titles referred to above, please get in touch with either of the following via email or phone:

Someshwar Sati  

Phone: 9958349702


Rudrashish Chakravarty

Phone: 9654123823