(Testo tratto da P.Italia-G.Raboni, Che cos’è la filologia d’autore, Roma, Carocci, 2016 [V ed.]).
Even though the first attempts in the representation of authorial variants date back to the 17th century (Authorial variants in history), it is only from the 20th century (with Leopardi’s Canti edited by Francesco Moroncini in 1927) that the authorial philology has been able to employ a “scientific” method, a crucial starting point for later critical editions (Methods in history).
A critical application of the subject soon developed next to authorial philology: variants criticism, born with Gianfranco Contini (his fundamental essay, Come lavorava l’Ariosto, dates back to 1937) who has long been its most prestigious representative (Authorial philology and variants criticism).
In the following years authorial philology has established reliable methods of representation and research of authorial variants, thus gaining a high standard of technical development, greatly different for settings and goals from similar European experiences, especially those undertaken in France (Authorial philology and the critique génétique).
In 1987 in the book Carte mescolate. Esperienze di filologia d’autore, Dante Isella talked for the first time about authorial philology, thus introducing a welcomed innovation in the subject’s vocabulary; he also retraced the subject’s history and gave – through exemplary editions completed by him and his team of scholars – a series of representation models of authorial variants, ranging from Parini’s manuscripts to those by Manzoni and Gadda (Dante Isella’s authorial philology).
(Text taken from P.Italia-G.Raboni, Che cos’è la filologia d’autore, Roma, Carocci, 2016 [V ed.]).
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