Magazine article Liberal Education

Reading Manuscripts

Magazine article Liberal Education

Reading Manuscripts

Article excerpt

Reading manuscripts, which is what I spend much of my time doing, opens a window on the state of higher education in the U.S. Not to make a dogma out of personal experience, as Saul Bellow warns against in one of his novels (Humboldt's Gift?), nonetheless, this editor's mail reveals a good deal that can be generalized about the state of things.

The texts that arrive for consideration represent no geographical limits, although most are from within the states. There have been some from overseas. I like seeing the spatial spread of sources. This issue, for example, spans the continent, just as the authors' institutions span the spectrum of higher education.

In the past, manuscripts gave place to the term typescripts, an idea redolent of white-out and carbon paper-quaint memories; remember them? Now, manuscripts are mostly Attachments (e-scripts?), with further contact done keyboard to keyboard. And, yes, it does create, as often noted, a kind of community. The interactive processes of editing make of editor's and author's thoughts what e. …

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