The Problem of the Poetic Pellas or, What’s in a (Wrong) Name?
London, BL, MS Sloane 2430 (f.2v)
The study of martial literature, like any other topic with few followers, is prone to errors of citation and sourcing. These errors can persist to the point that they become their own sort of source. Repeated use makes them historical. I think the genre of historical martial arts is the easy target because much of the material that enthusiasts work with is well outside the typical scholarly territories anyway and few of these students have the source fetish that academics develop. The case-study today is the “poem of the pell.”
I have strong opinions about important things! Well, not really. I plan to voice a strong opinion, but this is far from important. I have a few things to say about citation styles in academic writing. There, feel free to move on with your day. Nothing of major importance could ever come from the discourse below the break.
Occasionally I engage on some tedious research that, I know, has little, if any, practical value. Yet I am incapable of resisting the urge to do the work. I find this occurs most often with odd citations or errors in documentation or sloppy references and I eventually spend hours tracking down a quote, primary source, obscure re-print, or an equally irrelevant detail, knowing all the while that I will never find a publishable use for such efforts.
A blog, however, is the perfect place to compile these irrelevancies. So, in what may become a recurring series here at PBS, I present the first episode in Adventures in Forensic Bibliography.