Manuscript Culture

Manuscript culture: What is a Text?

The links below focus on the idea of what a text is: the differences (or lack thereof) between a handwritten note, a novel, an anthology of literature, a web page and a sound recording. They also look at what the roles of editors, critics, creators of Internet databases, and transcribers might be in shaping what a text is and what it becomes.

A medieval manuscript (in Latin):
http://www.suite101.com/view_image_articles.cfm/453726

Images of twenty medieval manuscripts. You have to scroll down just a bit. Note the variety of styles:
http://www.attitudedesign.co.uk/time-machine-medieval-manuscript-design/

Review of a recent book about the history of criticism and interpretation of Beowulf, and how it has often been a nationalist project:
http://www.amazon.com/Beowulf-Critical-Heritage/dp/0415029708

A few different versions of Georgre Herbert’s Easter Wings:
http://www.luminarium.org/sevenlit/herbert/wings.html
http://www.ccel.org/h/herbert/temple/Easterwings.html

http://www.ubu.com/historical/early/early12.html

Editing in the digital age:
(journalism)
http://thinklikeaneditor.net
(publishing)
http://www.buchmesse.de/en/ueberblick/2011/publishing-industry/editing-in-the-digital-age/

(copy editing your own work) http://www.suite101.com/content/copyediting-in-the-digital-age-a184421
(what constitutes an “authentic” document in the digital age)
http://www.clir.org/pubs/reports/pub92/contents.html

Scribal additions to the biblical book of Ecclesiastes, including a version with all suspected scribal insertions removed:
http://www.stjohnsithaca.org/Thoughts/BookOfKoheleth.html
http://www.humanistictexts.org/koheleth.htm

The wacky, fabulous, and unclassifiable work of bpnichol:
http://www.writing.upenn.edu/pennsound/x/Nichol.php

Two links to Walt Whitman’s “Leaves of Grass”– neither of which discusses or explains the process behind their selection of a particular version of this text for mark-up:
http://www.gutenberg.org/files/1322/1322-h/1322-h.htm
http://www.bartleby.com/142/index1.html

…although Bartleby.com at least gives bibliographic info showing which version of the text they have reproduced:
http://www.bartleby.com/br/142.html

…Wikipedia and CliffsNotes entries that gives some sense of why publishing or uploading any version of “Leaves of Grass” involves a series of editorial choices:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Leaves_of_Grass
http://www.cliffsnotes.com/WileyCDA/LitNote/id-60.html

…and the Walt Whitman Archive project’s site, with links to 8 different versions of “Leaves of Grass”:
http://www.whitmanarchive.org/published/LG/

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