Original Spelling in Old English Literature


I noticed when I was downloading The Fairie Queene by Edmund Spenser that there was an exceptionally high proportion of persons insisting on the original-spelling version. (I noticed this through there often being, on the websites from which literature can be downloaded, some critique and-or analysis of the literature available on it.) I myself have a very strong preference for original spelling version of any literature; but I find it particularly important in the case of The faerie Queene, as also many others do, as evinced by the just-mentioned high demand for the original-spelling version.

I think the reason it's particularly important in the case of this tract is that meaning is actually conveyed by the variation in spelling: not in such a way that the meaning can be rendered into explicit words – as in this variation means and that variation means – but kind of in a way perhaps analogous to that in which the same music per note-by-note becomes different music when played on different instruments. Or if not as by that analogy, then in some manner that transcends rendering into an explicit locution.

Source: reddit post


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