15.611 pencil and paper

From: Humanist Discussion Group (by way of Willard McCarty (w.mccarty@btinternet.com)
Date: Sat Apr 27 2002 - 02:40:42 EDT

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                   Humanist Discussion Group, Vol. 15, No. 611.
           Centre for Computing in the Humanities, King's College London

       [1] From: "Al Magary" <al@magary.com> (11)
             Subject: Re: 15.603 pencil and paper

       [2] From: =?iso-8859-1?Q?=22Mats_Dahlstr=F6m=22?= (38)
                     <Mats.Dahlstrom@hb.se> (by way
             Subject: Ang: 15.608 pencil and paper

             Date: Sat, 27 Apr 2002 07:35:20 +0100
             From: "Al Magary" <al@magary.com>
             Subject: Re: 15.603 pencil and paper

    > *pencil and paper* n. An archaic information storage and transmission
    > device that works by depositing smears of graphite on bleached wood pulp.

    No one has yet mentioned in this hacker's jest the arrogance of new
    technologists toward the old creaky stuff. Interestingly, this definition
    satirizes the new technology without restoring the value of the old.
    And--infinite mirrors here--in this discussion we are congratulating
    ourselves for recognizing the value of the old even while exploiting the
    new. (But--tsk--in plaintext, not HTML. Where is something to scribble
    with when you need it?)

    Al Magary

             Date: Sat, 27 Apr 2002 07:36:24 +0100
             From: =?iso-8859-1?Q?=22Mats_Dahlstr=F6m=22?=
    <Mats.Dahlstrom@hb.se> (by way
             Subject: Ang: 15.608 pencil and paper

    Haskell Springer wrote: "Forgive my possible naivete, but if that fellow
    was creating links (rather than paper footnotes) for T.S. Eliot's numerous
    obscure allusions, taking care to make them more illuminating,
    contextualizing, than academic footnotes usually are--even if he did so
    with Eliot's endnotes themselves--why isn't that a useful application of
    newer technology rather than a humorous misconception?"

    Because the explicit hypertextual links are embedded in the very same level
    as the edited text. Hypertextual links might be used to express
    intertextual - or other, such as navigational, structural etc - relations,
    but there are also other means to accomplish this. Intertextuality is
    phenomenologically speaking one thing (implicit allusions operating at the
    level of the signified), hypertextuality another (explicit links operating
    on the level of signifiers). Intertextuality (references, allusions,
    citations, implications, paraphrase, notes and what have you) exhibits a
    far more varied and sophisticated territory than does the so far rather
    crude hyper link. Using digital hypertext to embody intertextual relations
    (such as allusions etc) entails the danger of turning the fertile question
    marks of the edited work into sterile exclamation marks, thus "flattening"
    the work.

    Further: adjacent to this is the well-known discussion as to how to signal
    the presence of the editor in the edited, digital text by way of visual
    rhetorics and (typo)graphic markers. Different types of intertextual
    connections might e.g. be signalled using different techniques such as
    small javabased popup windows versus new browser windows or moving within
    the same window; or using varying colours for anchors having varying types
    of destinations etc (I believe The Internet Shakespeare Editions i.a. uses
    such features) (haven't we had this discussion before?) . It is a delicate
    question to what degree the editor is might be justified in making his /
    her presence in the (if I may use the term) "copy-text" - whether we're
    talking print editions or electronic ones. Intertextually alluding to Hans
    Ulrich Gumbrecht, I'd say the editor has to know his/her roles, and play
    them tactfully.

    Yours / Mats D

    Mats Dahlstrm, PhD student and lecturer
    Swedish School of Library and Information Studies
    Univ. College of Bors / Univ. of Gothenburg, Sweden
    mad@adm.hb.se ; +46 33 16 44 21 ; http://www.adm.hb.se/personal/mad/
    The history of structuralism is one from Saussure to not saussure.
    (Malcolm Bradbury)

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