12 February, 2015
A working definition: Textual scholarship in digital form.
Based on surviving copies, how, under what circumstances, and in what form was the text originally produced?
What sort of literary, historical, or archival ecology does the text belong to and what is its role in that ecology?
What formal features are the texts composed of and how do those features operate?
How can we ensure that texts are available to people whilst preserving the original copies?
Reasons for Decline:
Reasons for Revival:
“Remediation is the process whereby computer graphics, virtual reality, and the WWW define themselves by borrowing from and refashioning media such as painting, photography, television, and film. It is the anxiety of influence acted out in the poetics of technology.” (Bolter and Grusin, Remediation)
Hypertext theory so 90's, but the tools are still relevant. Increasingly, digital reading is an archival experience in which digital content is accessed as linked data.
Digital archives (typically produced by libraries) are increasingly blended with digital editions by modern content managment systems designed with hypertext reading in mind. An example of such a tool is Scalar.
The most well-known is Franco Moretti's "distant reading" in which features of multiple texts are counted and patterns are observed based on the texts' metadata.
Another example is Ben Schmidt's plot arcs.
Deformance (combining deformation and performance) is an algorithmic modification of the text to improve our understanding by changing our perspective.
Topic modelling, which organises words into themes based on the likelihood that they appear together, is one form of deformance. For instance, Matthew Jockers produced 500 themes from 19th century novels visualised as word clouds.
Types of Editions:
Transcription of the text which is modified to correspond to some internal norm (e.g. consistent spelling, dialect, etc.).
Presents a single version of the text without attesting to any historical growth or variation. Student editions are often of this type.
Present a "critical apparatus" with variant forms of readings.
Presents the text based on a single witness chosen because it is "better" than others according to some criterion.
Presents multiple witnesses that can be seen side by side.
Eclectic: Combines readings from multiple witnesses into a new text (which may represent a presumed lost original).
Je ne sais quoi
Je ne sais quoi
An example of basic XML
Je ne sais quoi
Says: The source text has a title called "Hamlet" and a paragraph in French which is in italics.
Does not say: How the text should look in the browser. For that the XML has to be transformed into HTML.
The Text Encoding Initiative (TEI) is a set of guidelines for describing texts in XML. There are similar standards for metatadata (which can be written in TEI.
TEI helps you describe texts in a way that can be processed by computers.
TEI is extendable for the needs of individual projects. For instance, it has been developed into a Comic Book Markup Language (CBML).
Cap acts quickly to tranquilize the gun-happy pedestrian... A little sleepwill do wonders for you! SPLAT! Ugh!
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