19.419 VR scholarly editions

From: Humanist Discussion Group (by way of Willard McCarty willard.mccarty_at_kcl.ac.uk>
Date: Tue, 15 Nov 2005 06:53:44 +0000

               Humanist Discussion Group, Vol. 19, No. 419.
       Centre for Computing in the Humanities, King's College London
                     Submit to: humanist_at_princeton.edu

         Date: Tue, 15 Nov 2005 06:45:37 +0000
         From: Neven Jovanovic <neven.jovanovic_at_ffzg.hr>
         Subject: VR scholarly editions

Edition --- or simulation?

I was puzzled by this antinomy as soon as I read it. I believe the VR
idea is important because it pushes forward certain tendencies which *are*
present in, or behind, standard scholarly editions.

One would say: but VR can only reconstruct, or simulate, *a* reading, not
*the* reading of the text. I would reply --- does not a scholarly edition
also reconstruct *a* reading? Even when it offers an authoritative
version ("what an author really wrote"), is this not also just one of many

Interesting thing is, then: why do we tend to *forget* that a scholarly
edition is... let's say, closely and carefully controlled, but still

Also, VR edition of a text would, in essence, be a *performance* of it (or
a frame for such a performance). How is a performance related to "just a
text"? Think about the musical score vs. the performance of a
composition. Could a performance of the Kunst der Fuge be an act of
scholarship? Does a critical edition of the Kunst der Fuge without the
sounds miss something?

Neven Jovanovic
Received on Tue Nov 15 2005 - 02:02:48 EST

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