No, that’s very clear. Thanks.
What you describe is an attitude toward textual criticism that many of us are trying to change. Whether print-based or digital, a critical edition advances an editor’s argument about a text and its tradition. Those “traces of the editor’s work” are not “just” notes. The choice of variants and the way in which they are arranged and displayed are acts of scholarship. Unfortunately, the limited real estate that publishers are willing to give to an apparatus in a printed edition means that all of that scholarly activity must be expressed in a system of abbreviations and typographical conventions.
In other words, the scholarship in a printed critical edition is already encoded, in a limited way, and it has to be decoded by a human who has the background and training to understand and care about the scholarship.
Encoding an existing critical edition, basing a new digital edition on an existing one in print, and creating a born-digital edition are also acts of scholarship, since each requires skilled interpretation and critical engagement with the work of previous editors and other scholars, in addition to an appreciation and understanding of how both humans and machines deal with information. Making explicit the critical judgments expressed in previous editions and adding one’s own critical viewpoint (e.g., through the data model for the edition, through a unique visualization of the data, etc.) are also acts of scholarship.
But you’re right: this is an ungodly hour for getting up on my soapbox.
> On May 5, 2015, at 10:25 PM, Burghart Marjorie <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
> Dear Samuel,
> Sorry, I did not make my point very clearly. What I meant was that the critical apparatus created by an editor is usually the only view most of us will have of a text. Very seldom will we go back to the manuscripts and re-do the work done by an editor (or if for some reason we do, we become the editor). So the view and intentions of the editor is the basic data we have at our disposal to represent the text, we very much depend on it.
> But it seems to me that there is a tendency to dismiss the view and intentions of the editor as an "accident" in the history of the transmission of the text, and consider that when making a digital edition of an existing edition, the traces of the editor's work are not to be encoded systematically to be processed, but just to be displayed as notes.
> Erm... not sure I'm much clearer :s Maybe I'll try again at a less ungodly hour :)
> Best ,
> ----- Mail original -----
> De: "Samuel J. Huskey" <[log in to unmask]>
> À: [log in to unmask]
> Envoyé: Mercredi 6 Mai 2015 05:03:36
> Objet: Re: Encoding conjecture in critical apparatus
> Dear Marjorie,
> Can you unpack this statement, please?
>> On May 5, 2015, at 9:48 PM, Burghart Marjorie <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
>> While others consider that we are all in the same boat, that maintaining the possibility to display an edition (born-digital or not) according to the age-old conventions of philological scholarship is a necessity, and that the view and intentions of an editor-in-print are just a way to express the representation of a multi-witness text.
> It’s that last part that I’m having a hard time understanding. Are you saying that the visualization of data otherwise known as a traditional printed critical edition is just one among many ways to represent a multi-witness text? Or are you saying something else? Sorry for being dense. I just want to make sure that I’m following your argument.