Volume 79, Issue 4, Fall 2005
John Scottus Eriugena
David C. Greetham
Édouard Jeauneau’s Edition of the Periphyseon in Light of Contemporary Editorial Theory
Textual criticism and the scholarly editions it produces have all too often been regarded by academics as well as general readers as “objective” (or even “scientific”) applications of a fi xed set of procedures, designed to create a “definitive” text. But such editions are just as much a reflection of cultural and ideological expectations as are any other “critical” activities. Thus, the Jeauneau parallel-text edition of Eriugena’s Periphyseon, with its presentation of “matièe en fusion” and its embrace of a continually evolving work in “perpétuel devenir” is to be seen as an appropriate postmodernist celebration of the “supplément,” the marginal, the incomplete, and the fragmented. In this promotion of the “scriptible” (or “open,” “writerly”) text over the “lisible” (“closed” or “readerly”), Jeauneau stands in contrast with the precedent edition of Eriugena by Sheldon-Williams, which is a modernist attempt to arrive at “satisfaction” and the positive.