Cusanus-Marginalien. Zur Edition und Interpretation einer Textüberlieferung am Seitenrand

Bulletin de Philosophie Medievale 64:209-241 (2023)
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Abstract

The extant manuscripts of Nicholas of Cusa’s private library are not only a unique testimony to the reading world of one of the most important philosophers of the 15th century. They also document the material context of a specific literary activity by their reader: as is well known, Cusanus frequently annotated his books, noting his thoughts in the margins. This paper focuses on Cusanus’ marginalia as an object of research and edition. In a first step, the essay reconstructs the 20th-century editorial history of this special textual tradition and embeds it in the developments of the modern philological and historiographical work on Nicholas of Cusa. In a second step, it offers an interpretation of Cusanus’ marginalia as a coherent textual corpus and investigates the reading and writing practices to which this corpus bears witness. Finally, against this background, the paper presents a case for the scientific relevance of a continuation and re-conception of the critical edition of Cusanus’ marginalia, which began in 1941 with the first volume of the series Cusanus-Texte III. Marginalien and has remained unfinished to date.

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