Versioning Wordsworth; Dynamic Collation in the New Medium
||Versioning Wordsworth; Dynamic Collation in the New Medium
||Electronic Publishing '97 - New Models and Opportunities: Proceedings of an ICCC/IFIP conference held at the University of Kent, Kenterbury, UK, April 14-16 1997/ Edited by Fytton Rowland and Jack Meadows / ISBN 1-891365-00-2
||This paper presents work on a scholarly hypertext edition of Wordsworth's and Coleridge's Lyrical Ballads. Initially, we plan to digitize the four lifetime editions (1798, 1800, 1802, 1805) by compiling transcripts based on original printed volumes, marking these up with SGML in conformity with the TEl guidelines, and collating them with special software to discover variants and generate an apparatus criticus. Each poem would then become the focus of its own hypertext web, showing all four versions together for the sake of immediate visual comparison. Every page of the digital transcription will be linked to digital images of the printed text, so that features like font, margins, and layout of stanzas on a page will be accessible. Our purpose is to show the development of the poems in the Lyrical Ballads collection, and in the case of the poems by Wordsworth to show how these evolved towards their 'final authorized' form. Cambridge University Press has undertaken to publish this electronic edition on CD-ROM in 1998, to commemorate the bicentenary of the first edition. Wordsworth was chosen for this project because his restless habit of revision produced so many versions of each poem that trying to represent them in print stretches that medium to its limits. New media functionalities of electronic text, digital images, and hypertext may offer the capacity to fully exhibit this poet's diversity. To know Wordsworth is to know not one but many selves, expressed in a succession of texts that mark the different stages of his personal development. Which to choose has always been the editor's dilemma; establishing a text has always meant that we must privilege one version over others, and settle for a static representation of what might be better understood as a dynamic process. By digitizing Wordsworth, we hope to show that the electronic medium is best adapted to capture this protean romantic self by displaying the multiple versions of each work.
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