Shillingsburg 2006

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Shillingsburg, Peter. From Gutenberg to Google: Electronic Representations of Literary Texts. Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 2006.

"This book addresses the proposition that the electronic representation of print literature to be undertaken in the twenty-first century will significantly alterr what we understand textuality to be." (3)

new editions as "reincarnating" texts (14)

textual difference akin to John Searle's distinction between "sentence" (iterability) and "utterance" (noniterability -- each repetition of an utterance is itself a new utterance) (17)

"To summarize, we can say that the lexical part of a text, its sentence in Seattle's terms, is iterable, though subject to error in iteration. As a script act, however, text is not iterable because script acts, like utterance in Seattle's terms, are 'agented acts' with specific historical and temporal contexts that constitute or indicate the things that go without saying in specific utterances and that point to or even determine the meaning of the words. A text is more than its linguistic components of letters, spaces, and punctuation, for it includes the bibliographic codes as well, and all the clues identifying its agent of being and its contexts of generation. A text seems to change and develop through history, even when neither the physical nor the linguistic text has changed, thus making it very difficult to know just exactly what parts of the work are being lost in the editing." (18)

"If written texts are to be treated as 'tethered' deliberate acts that exist beyond the act of origination to serve as the spoors that remain as witness of those acts and also to serve as the spurs for countless separate acts of reception, it follows that any copy of the written work serves in some precise ways as the spoors for the cts that produced that copy and simultaneously fails to provide evidence about the acts that produced the original or other copies. Reception responses to written texts are, then, responses to the copy being read, not to the work as represented variously by all its copies. This precision either may not matter or may seem not to matter. Readers are so used to the absence of information that would distinguish the copy being read from any other copy, that it is usually assumed that there is no significant difference and that any copy will do. Textual criticism has, for the most part, failed to demonstrate either to the general public or to the academic community that such views are misleading or inadequate. For the most part, scholarly editors have been seen by literary scholars as performing the sole service of producing established, error-free texts that will save the user fro the most egregious pitfalls of using just any old copy and provide the prestige of using an established or standard copy. But textual critics have not been able to impress on either the scholarly or the general critical consciousness that response to one copy of the work may not be the same as response to other copies or to explain why and how that is so." (76-7)
"The world of electronic scholarly editions may be working towards it but has not yet achieved a condition in which scholarship is invested modularly into the development of marked archives, marked commentary and annotation, marked analysis of text variation and genesis in such a way that the results of scholarship could be employed modularly with a variety of tools for display of static texts, for display of dynamic texts, for selection of texts, for manipulation of texts, for accessing commentary and annotations, or for personalizing editions for a variety of critical, historical, linguistic, or philological uses." (89-90)

digital scholarly edition as "knowledge site with a variety of tools for accessing its materials and taking advantage of its incorporated scholarship" (97)