Versions, Instantiations, And Meanings Of A Text

By: Maria Palacio  

In the last two decades of the twentieth century, textual criticism took shifted by the hand of D. F. McKenzie and George Bornstein, who proposed a new approach to this field by claiming that both textual history and the physical features of a document produce meaning. However, even if McKenzie and Bornstein’s proposals affected the way scholars approach works, their claims have not produced a great effect in the way scholarly editions are made. In consequence, linguistic features have continued to be the predominant sources of these editions, while the bibliographical features of the works have remained hidden in archives and unknown to the general reader. This phenomenon could be caused by the inherent limitations of the book as a medium. With the birth of electronic mediums, new digital scholarly projects have tried to show how form and reception have an impact on a text's meaning. In this paper, I explore digital humanities’ attempts to give an account of the sociology of the text, as well as the implications de digital as a medium. To do so, I begin by studying McKenzie and Bronstein’s propositions to try to answer why paper-based critical editions have been unable to put the propositions of these theorists into practice. Secondly, I study the implications and limitations of the remediation from paper to electronic mediums. Finally, I analyze some digital humanities’ case-studies, to study how digital editions have tried to fill the gaps that prevent paper-based editions from successfully joining bibliography and textual criticism.

Electronic Editions, Digital Humanities, Textual Studies
Publishing Practices: Past, Present, and Future
Paper Presentation in a Themed Session

Maria Palacio

Graduate Student, Spanish and Portuguese, Northwestern University, United States
United States