What is Authorial Philology? - cover image


Paola Italia; Giulia Raboni

Published On





  • English

Print Length

214 pages (xxii+192)


Paperback156 x 15 x 234 mm(6.14" x 0.59" x 9.21")
Hardback156 x 19 x 234 mm(6.14" x 0.75" x 9.21")


Paperback915g (32.28oz)
Hardback1300g (45.86oz)



OCLC Number





  • D
  • JFCX
  • DS
  • D


  • LIT004130
  • LIT000000
  • LIT025000


  • P47


  • philology
  • Authorial Philology
  • textbook
  • editing ‘authorial texts’
  • how to read critical editions

What is Authorial Philology?

A stark departure from traditional philology, What is Authorial Philology? is the first comprehensive treatment of authorial philology as a discipline in its own right. It provides readers with an excellent introduction to the theory and practice of editing ‘authorial texts’ alongside an exploration of authorial philology in its cultural and conceptual architecture. The originality and distinction of this work lies in its clear systematization of a discipline whose autonomous status has only recently been recognised (at least in Italy), though its roots may extend back as far as Giorgio Pasquali.

This pioneering volume offers both a methodical set of instructions on how to read critical editions, and a wide range of practical examples, expanding upon the conceptual and methodological apparatus laid out in the first two chapters. By presenting a thorough account of the historical and theoretical framework through which authorial philology developed, Paola Italia and Giulia Raboni successfully reconceptualize the authorial text as an ever-changing organism, subject to alteration and modification.

What is Authorial Philology? will be of great didactic value to students and researchers alike, providing readers with a fuller understanding of the rationale behind different editing practices, and addressing both traditional and newer methods such as the use of the digital medium and its implications. Spanning the whole Italian tradition from Petrarch to Carlo Emilio Gadda, this ground-breaking volume provokes us to consider important questions concerning a text’s dynamism, the extent to which an author is ‘agentive’, and, most crucially, about the very nature of what we read.

Additional Resources

[website]Filologia d'autore

This book is part of a wider project showcased on its sister website, www.filologiadautore.it, a resource coordinated by Paola Italia. With What is Authorial Philology?, the authors aim to provide an introduction to the field, and hope that the volume will serve as an introduction to the resources available on the website too. They are planning further volumes to tackle the issues of authorial philology arising when studying individual authors and, at the same time, to explore the synergy between the resources available on the website and the printed book.

The website www.filologiadautore.it was founded in 2010 and has now become a digital environment for information, updates and training in authorial philology, and a repository of Wiki editions of major Italian texts (WikiLeopardi and WikiGadda, whose main pages have had more than 750,000 hits). The website is consulted daily by all those looking for an introduction to the discipline. Also relevant to this development are studies of the history, methods and reviews of the critical reference texts, and the Catalogue of Digital Critical Editions produced by Greta Franzini (https://dig-ed-cat.acdh.oeaw.ac.at/).

The website contains, in the ‘Authorial Philology Exercises’ (‘Esercizi di filologia d’autore’) section, examples of editions of autographs with corrections by Gabriele D’Annunzio, Luigi Pirandello, Pier Paolo Pasolini and Elsa Morante. The site presents both the ‘French-style’ genetic edition — a diplomatic edition which is the first step for a correct deciphering of the manuscript and for a synoptic vision of the original and its transcription — and a critical edition adhering to the method of authorial philology.

The website also contains useful information about the new Philology series with Carocci, on Gadda and Manzoni (http://www.filologiadautore.it/wp/collana/), as well as information on the THESMA project (http://www.filologiadautore.it/wp/thesma-project-sapienza-ricerca-2014-2016/), as well as the RTI method developed by the non-profit organization Cultural Heritage Imaging (http://www.filologiadautore.it/wp/chi-rti-project/).


1. History

(pp. 1–28)
  • Paola Italia
  • Giulia Raboni

2. Methods

(pp. 29–70)
  • Paola Italia

3. Italian Examples

(pp. 71–112)
  • Paola Italia
  • Giulia Raboni
  • Sònia Boadas
  • Marco Presotto
  • Margherita Centenari
  • Francesco Feriozzi1
  • Olga Beloborodova
  • Dirk Van Hulle
  • Pim Verhulst


(pp. xiii–xxii)
  • Paola Italia
  • Giulia Raboni


Paola Italia

Italian Literature and Scholarly Editing at Università di Bologna