Thursday, June 13, 2019



I'm reading, at a very leisurely pace, Jill Mann's edition of Chaucer's Canterbury Tales (London: Penguin Books, 2005). She occasionally uses the term eyeskip, e.g. at p. 1065 (on the Canon's Yeoman's Prologue):
564–5 These lines are omitted in El (through eyeskip to the initial A of line 566?), but they seem authentically Chaucerian.
Eyeskip is sometimes called "saut du même au même" in manuals of textual criticism. See e.g. Louis Havet, Manuel de critique verbale appliquée aux textes latins (Paris: Librairie Hachette et Cie, 1911), pp. 130-133 (§§ 441-467), and Martin L. West, Textual Criticism and Editorial Technique Applicable to Greek and Latin Texts (Stuttgart: B.G. Teubner, 1973), pp. 24-25.

The earliest example of eye-skip in the Oxford English Dictionary comes from
1936  Stud. in Eng. (Univ. Texas) No. 16 36 As examples of eye-skips I list here unique accidental omissions of lines and passages, with an explanation as to the probable cause when any is apparent.
The reference is to Martin Michael Crow, "Unique Variants in the Paris Manuscript of Chaucer's Canterbury Tales," Studies in English 16 (July 8, 1936) 17-41 (at 36).

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