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The Problem of Punctuation in the Editions of Marulić’s Croatian Works
In the publication of the works of older Croatian writers, including Marulić of course, punctuation often seems to be a minor problem in the solution of complex textological problems in connection with the correct reading of writings of before the Revival. Punctuation is interpolated during the transcription of these texts according to contemporary standards of usage and grammar, irrespective of the punctuation marks that we find in the originals, which are used according to principles different from those of today, and that do not follow the contemporary approach to sentence structure. Quite often the punctuating of pre-Revival texts is arbitrary, dependent on the caprice of the editor, who can by putting a false punctuation mark distort or alter the original meaning of the expression in verse or prose. Such mistakes are not less important than a misreading of the graphy of an older text. In the three editions of Judita published during Marulić’s lifetime, there is punctuation: the metrically and rhythmically rounded parts of the verse are determined with slashes, while statements are separated with dots. One can approach the punctuating of the transcription of Judita with more security than is the case with other Croatian works of Marulić, which are not printed, and the au-tographs of which are not known, and are presented in later unauthorised copies. Using representative examples of editions of Marulić’s Croatian works to date, the paper draws attention to unevenness and mistakes in punctuation, which of-ten distort the original meaning of Marulić’s writing. The research has confirmed that the reading of Marulić is truly not yet complete (and probably, in the true meaning of the word, never will be). There will always be room for a different and better reading of some of the verses, and this goes perhaps most for the punctuation. Although the Works are punctuated with a lot of thought, with great attention and knowledge, which can be seen in almost every verse, yet some inconsistencies have crept in, as well as grammatical and semantic errors. The list of many such errors presented in this paper will help some future improved editions of Marulić’s works to correct these mistakes, with still more attention being directed to punctuation, with an awareness of its full importance in the textological treatment of works of literature, the mistakes, at least those animadverted to here, being obviated.
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