14.0740 multiple perspectives?

From: by way of Willard McCarty (willard@lists.village.Virginia.EDU)
Date: Wed Mar 14 2001 - 08:47:55 EST

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                   Humanist Discussion Group, Vol. 14, No. 740.
           Centre for Computing in the Humanities, King's College London

             Date: Wed, 14 Mar 2001 07:28:54 +0000
             From: Willard McCarty <willard.mccarty@kcl.ac.uk>
             Subject: multiple perspectives?

    Certainly one of the primary contributions of computational design to the
    rethinking of our scholarly tools is the ease with which different
    perspectives on a body of material may be implemented. I am thinking, for
    example, of a remark originating from someone (forgive the forgetting) in
    the Perseus Project, that a lexicon whose citations of text become links to
    the full texts is not so different from a commentary. I'm also thinking of
    the desirability, argued by Simon Goldhill (Classics, Cambridge), that we
    take some account of the modern idea of the plural text in our making of
    editions and commentaries, and the perhaps obvious approaches which
    computing has to offer. Finally I'm thinking of what the worldwide digital
    library (crucially in the singular) may do to scholarship.

    So much for the context. Now my question. Who has written most clearly and
    persuasively on the relevant paradox of interpretation, which takes control
    of and to a varying degree remakes its object in the very act of its own
    subservience? Since we can actually do away with the necessity of
    physically subordinating commentary and other sorts of interpretative
    notes, and thus give leash to their heretofore suppressed primacy, will we
    not (also paradoxically) be increasing the importance of interpretation --
    rather than minimising it, as some have dreamed computing would do?


    Dr Willard McCarty / Senior Lecturer /
    Centre for Computing in the Humanities / King's College London /
    Strand / London WC2R 2LS / U.K. /
    +44 (0)20 7848-2784 / ilex.cc.kcl.ac.uk/wlm/

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