The Mona Lisa was never quite the same after the surrealists adorned it with a Salvador Dali-style moustache. But however many copies are made, however many iterations occur, something endures, something alters yet remains itself. This anecdote seems to suggest that we continue to need both ‘old’ and ‘new’ Textualisms. The altered ‘copy’ is certainly in a particular and local sense the ‘text itself.’ But what is it a copy of? Prima facie it is a copy of an ‘original.’ But in its altered state it must be an imitation not of a work, but of some potentiality within the work, something that lies even beyond the ‘original.’ Somewhere in that dark space of human creativity from which both the artefact and its multiple potentialities of duplication derived. We cannot hope to reconstruct that Platonic essence, and out dealings with the text will always entail alteration.