3.105 electronic publication (43)

Wed, 7 Jun 89 21:45:56 EDT

Humanist Discussion Group, Vol. 3, No. 105. Wednesday, 7 Jun 1989.

Date: Wed, 7 Jun 89 12:40 EDT
From: John Lavagnino <LAV@brandeis.bitnet>
Subject: Electronic publishing in the TLS

Our area of interest is mentioned briefly in a recent article about
the state of academic publishing: John Sutherland, ``The making of
codices and careers,'' *Times Literary Supplement*, number 4495, May
26--June 1, 1989, pages 580 and 585. I quote from page 585:

The computerization of the academic profession has happened
remarkably quickly (particularly if one recalls the same
profession's almost century-long resistance to the typewriter). And
since the early 1980s, there have been public-domain or low-cost
typesetting programs available---notably Donald Knuth's TEX
[sic]---which are wholly adaptable to the desk-top computer. Via
what are called Device Independent Output Files (DVIs) and laser
printers (or phototypesetters if there is one handy), it is now
feasible for authors to set their own books and send proofs for
examination to the publisher. In this way the academic author can
reappropriate many primary editorial and design functions and still
have the coveted press imprint on the finished work. In my subject
(English literature) I like to think that the scholars who are doing
most to unsettle things are not Yale's or Duke's theorists but
relatively unknown pioneers of photocomposition like Thomas C.
Faulkner, whose *Anatomy of Melancholy* will be published by OUP;
Peter Shillingsburg, whose collected works of Thackeray will come
from Garland Press; or G. W. Pigman III, who is editing the
collected poetry of George Gascoyne for OUP.

[Sutherland argues that this is not an innovation but a return to
tradition: that nineteenth-century authors were usually involved in
those ``primary editorial and design functions,'' and that OUP didn't
stop authors from ``going into OUP's printing shop to collaborate
daily with `their' compositor'' until the 1940s.]