On 11-08-22 07:54 AM, Marjorie Burghart wrote:
> Le 22/08/2011 15:35, John A. Walsh a écrit :
>> Rather than have at my disposal millions of homogenous and
>> interoperable TEI texts provided by Google or whomever, I would prefer
>> to make my way through a smaller number of meticulously encoded texts,
>> where the mind of the scholar(s)/editors(s) is present in the
>> encoding, along with ingenious and clever encoding strategies that
>> suggest important critical insights about the texts. This is the
>> nanotechnolgoy of digital humanities.
> Assuming that you're in earnest here (apologies if I misunderstood you),
> I would like to seize this opportunity to voice some of my concerns.
> I for one, would rather have at my disposal millions of basically
> encoded texts, rather than a small number of extremely thoughtfully
> encoded texts.
I would like both.
> And I really believe that thinking of encoding as an art form, and not a
> tool, is one of the problems of the TEI community.
I don't think that was the view that was put forward; what was suggested
was that an act of encoding is an expression of a theory of the text.
Whether or not that is an art form or not I don't know, but I think it's
a standard literary-critical response to a text.
> Let's face it once and for all: there is nothing - /nothing /- one can
> make apparent through encoding as an editor, that could not be made just
> as apparent, and maybe more intelligibly so, by a full-text introduction
> to an edition.
I'm afraid I disagree with this. For one thing, many aspects of a text
only become apparent after the process of encoding the text has revealed
them. Features which emerge from encoding, and subsequent processing of
the encoded text, may well be discussed in an introduction, of course.
Encoding is a way of close-reading a text and simultaneously maintaining
a rigorous record of how that close-reading was undertaken and what it
revealed. Providing access to the XML encoding provides support for
claims that might be made in an introduction, in the same way that
authors in the "hard" sciences provide access to datasets to support
their papers. To take a concrete example:
If you say in your introduction that 75% of an author's sentences have
two or more clauses in them, and you provide your XML encoding to
support the claim, I can check it in seconds using XSLT. If you don't
provide an encoding (or some other apparently trustworthy dataset), I'm
forced to take your word for it.
> The natural medium of Humanities research is text, not
> encoding. So to me, the more important part is not to represent a
> textual phenomenon to render account of it, but to be able to process it
> in some way or another. And most of all, to be able to have it processed
> with a bunch of other texts encoded by others, or I wouldn't bother with
> using the TEI in the first place.
> Best wishes,
> Marjorie BURGHART
> EHESS (pôle de Lyon) / UMR 5648
> Histoire et Archéologie des Mondes Chrétiens et Musulmans Médiévaux
> 18 quai Claude Bernard
> 69007 Lyon - FRANCE
University of Victoria Humanities Computing and Media Centre
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