Manuscript copies of printed books

Andrea Acri andreaacri at MAC.COM
Sat Mar 24 11:34:14 UTC 2012

Analogous considerations could be made with respect to the Balinese tradition. I have come across a few texts, (type)written and published in either Balinese, Indonesian, or Old Javanese, by early 20th-century authors that were copied/reproduced (subsequently, or perhaps even by the author himself)  in the form of palm-leaf manuscripts (a process described in modern Indonesian as dilontarkan ‘turned into a lontar’ [i.e. palm-leaf ms]). In 2007 I myself have witnessed my Balinese informant, the man of letters Ida Dewa Gede Catra (who still spends the best part of his days typing into Roman script Balinese and Old Javanese texts on lontars), transcribing on a lontar (obviously in Balinese script) my Latex-typeset and romanized draft edition of the Dharma Pātañjala–a Śaiva text that survived only in Java, but which is very relevant to Balinese Śaivism. He somehow felt that the text should be part of the mss. heritage of Bali–certainly not for ‘ritual’ purposes. He also added a nice colophon, mentioning that he copied the text from a transcription of a Javanese ms. handed to him by Andrea Acri, who found it in the Berlin Staatsbibliothek. 

Andrea Acri

On Mar 24, 2012, at 9:20 PM, Judit Torzsok wrote:

> Just another example (on what is not the same thing again) and reflections on the subject as to why printed editions are collated in manuscripts --
> I have also come across manuscripts that contained, it seems, collations of printed editions. For instance, one of the sāradā manuscripts of the Paramārthasāra with Yogarāja's commentary has marginal annotations (by a third hand perhaps) and it appears to have the same readings there as the KSTS edition, even / especially when the KSTS has some peculiar readings or conjectures. I think it is ms N (see Bansat-Boudon -- Tripathi for the description), but I have not got a full collation. In any case, I think it must have been a fairly common practice to copy and / or collate editions, at least in the 19th century and the beginning of the 20th. But the practice may not be motivated by the idea that mss are more "sacred"; rather, printed editions were perhaps considered to be like manuscripts, so they were collated and recopied. I imagine that printed editions were still rare at that time (must have been expensive too, but certainly rare in many cases, like the grantha editions mentioned by Dominic Goodall), so people wanted to save and / or transmit / collate them by making manuscript copies. It also makes me think of people who, fifteen or twenty years ago, printed their documents to save them in a hard copy, because they did not trust computers and disks to do the job. So old ways of saving and transmitting things may survive longer, even if, retrospectively, it seems to be absurd to save or transmit a printed edition by recopying it in a manuscript. Also, the scribes may not have known that (at least in some cases) there were actually a lot of copies of the printed edition out there.
> Judit Törzsök

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