19.553 VR scholarly editions

From: Humanist Discussion Group (by way of Willard McCarty willard.mccarty_at_kcl.ac.uk>
Date: Sun, 8 Jan 2006 09:53:37 +0000

               Humanist Discussion Group, Vol. 19, No. 553.
       Centre for Computing in the Humanities, King's College London
                     Submit to: humanist_at_princeton.edu

         Date: Sun, 08 Jan 2006 09:47:51 +0000
         From: DrWender_at_aol.com
         Subject: Re: 19.544 VR scholarly editions

In einer eMail vom 06.01.06 schreibt
Julia Flanders <Julia_Flanders_at_Brown.edu>:

>But it might make one's head explode!

While this might indeed be the feeling when you peruse some more
recent scholarly editions ( e.g. volumes "7/8: gesaenge" of the
famous "Frankfurter Hoelderlin-Ausgabe"), on the premise of Willard's
thought experiment it should be more convenient (and certainly less
painful!) to examine the same information in the VR medium. Or am I
thinking in the wrong direction? I must confess: I can at best
vaguely imagine a SFal 'holodeck', but I remember that in the times
of Apple's hypercards/hyperstack technology a French textual scholar,
Jean-Louis Lebrave, has simulated the genesis of some Heine mss. on
screen. This was in principle not much different from the experiments
with transparent papers overlaying each other, as recommended by
editors in the 1920s to provide the users of scholarly editions with
some physical experience of the hypothetical genesis of the text as
explained in the critical apparatus.

Coming back to the VR situation: What does an 'n-dimensional textual
structure' actually imply? Are we to count for each version 1
dimension? Or would count a ms. for 2 when it shows alterations of
text, the second one showing the paradigmatic resp. genetic relation
of the variants inside the witness? In which ways could a VR edition
in such a scenario surpass an actual comparison of different textual
stages using multiple screens?

I would very much appreciate if someone could help my poor imagination.

With best regards and greetings for a prosperous new year,
Received on Sun Jan 08 2006 - 05:08:55 EST

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