Accepted paper:

Shiri Guru Granth Sahib in the age of DH: implications of Pashaura Singh's working draft theory and synoptic edition of Ulysses


Gurpreet Singh (University of Lethbridge)

Paper short abstract:

Textual history of the Shiri Guru Granth Sahib (SGGS), religious book of Sikh, is available in form of Goindval pothis. Singh's theory of pothis as 'working drafts' for the SGGS and Hans Walter Gabler's synoptic edition of Ulysses is way forward for textual criticism in the new brave world of DH.

Paper long abstract:

Textual history of the Shiri Guru Granth Sahib (SGGS), the religious book of Sikhs and an authoritative and best-copy unto itself, is available in form of 'Goindval pothis'. After final addition of 'baani' (hymns) of Guru Teg Bahadur (ninth in succession of ten Sikh gurus) to the Adi Granth bir of Guru Arjan Dev (fifth guru), the canon was closed for any further addition and declared the Guru of Sikhs in 1608. The SGGS is closed to any kind textual editing or criticism. Against the general belief of Goindval Pothis as collection of 'baani' passed on from one guru to the next, Pashaura Singh proposed a theory of pothis being 'working drafts' of Guru Arjan Dev to fix the structure and contents of the SGGS. Hans Walter Gabler's married the continental theories of textual criticism with those from Anglo-American for his synoptic edition of Ulysses. He used various pre-publication materials as well as post-publication changes made by James Joyce to create his synoptic edition. Also we can see this idea of edition with multiple edits rather than one authoritative edition in digital textual editing like that of O'Donnell's edition of the Caedmon's Hymn. With Digital Humanities providing capabilities for realising projects with complexities and scale, this paper will be presenting how synoptic edition of Ulysses and working drafts theory, in the brave new world of digital humanities, provides a way forward for undertaking a textual criticism and editing project for the SGGS without actually challenging any beliefs and authority.

panel P33
New approaches to manuscript variations in South Asia