Egan 2010

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Egan, Gabriel, ed. Electronic Publishing: Politics and Pragmatics. Tempe: ACMRS, 2010.

The Impact of Computers on the Art of Scholarly Editing, by Peter Shillingsburg (17-29)

print/paper characteristics non-replicable in electronic media

  • "capable of being read with the naked eye"
  • "continue to be readable without change or intervention (except careful storage) for centuries" (17)
"Why should this complex and time-consuming scholarly work be published in an ephemeral, vulnerable form requiring special equipment to access -- electronically?" (18)

electronic publishing is often more difficult, faces more challenges

"The core goal of all scholarly editing (regardless of medium) is to provide a reliable text of a historical work and allow readers to see or feel or sense the historical materialities and contexts of the work. This contrasts with most Internet-available texts from which the materiality of the source book has been stripped away like a banana peel. And so the question becomes, how can the historical authenticity of works written for print publication be represented electronically such that their historicity and materiality will not be lost and yet the potential of the electronic form can be exploited? That is the current philosophical and practical question for scholarly editing." (22)

many electronic editions are more like archives, in part in reaction against the eclectic style of editing advocated by Greg and Bowers

  • this rejection "reduces editorial goals to the function of recording or re-representing extant historical forms of works" (27)

argues against multiple authorities being present; author is the only true authority (28)