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 <email@example.com>
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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