Curious Corrections. An inventory and analysis of the corrections in the Middle Dutch Lancelot Compilation.
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The Lancelot Compilation (The Hague, Royal Library, 129 A 10) is a manuscript from around 1320-1325, that comprises ten Middle Dutch Arthurian romances. Four of these ten narratives contain alterations that were made by an anonymous scribe, who became known as the Corrector of the Middle Dutch Lancelot Compilation. The name ‘Corrector’ is somewhat misleading, since the correction of mistakes in the scribal text is only a part of the Corrector’s activities: he also made alterations of other kinds, such as the addition of punctuation marks and small words, often in the left-hand margin of the text. In 1976, W.P. Gerritsen published an article in which he argued that the Corrector’s intention was to make the Lancelot Compilation more suitable for oral performance and he considered the marginal additions to be oral delivery marks. Gerritsen’s hypothesis soon became the leading theory among researchers of the Lancelot Compilation, but recently Gerritsen’s theory has been doubted by some scholars. In order to shed some more light on the Corrector’s intentions, I made an inventory of his alterations and analysed his behaviour through the course of the manuscript.