Hi Elisa--
Thanks so much for the link to your project! Just getting a peek at the way you are tagging--and then seeing the beautiful networks you are generating with Cytoscape--is quite helpful, not to mention inspirational. 

To answer your question, I am working on a literary cartography of Madrid, starting with the novel Tiempo de Silencio by Luis Martín-Santos, which--in addition to its other charms--functions as a radical reworking of Madrid's literary (and artistic) spaces via a complex web of overlapping geographic and metaliterary references and allusions, along with a strong dose of realism regarding demographic shifts in post-war Madrid. On a deeper level, I'm interested in the mechanisms that authors use to create such elaborate mental mapping and geographic awareness in the mind of the reader. 

The philological approach to literature that I was taught here in Spain is very much like markup to begin with and what you wrote about Cytoscape resonates with me: "A great reason to try plotting a network from XML structure might just be because you have a hunch that you might learn something interesting based on relationships you’re beginning to see in your markup." 

Syd, Lou, and Thomas--
Thanks for the practical advice on tackling places and the notion of naming. I'm looking for a way to balance detailed tagging of what is actually there in the text, while also capturing what is stirred up in the mind of the reader and you have given me plenty of food for thought. This particular text plays with ellipsis to such an extent that naming is quite relevant, even/especially in its absence. There's no doubt that I need to capture all of that information. 

Question: is there any established hierarchy of places from macro to micro (e.g. planet, continent, country, region, city, street, building, room)? 


2017-03-14 15:32 GMT+01:00 Thomas Elliott <[log in to unmask]>:
To agree with Lou by disagreeing on one point:

I wouldn't describe the distinction that TEI makes between "place name" and "place" (and between personal name and person) as "old-fashioned". Rather, it's an essential, scholarly/analytical distinction, and one that makes TEI exceptionally well-suited for working with textual sources that mention -- and (in combination) structured information about -- past places, imagined places, contingent places, etc. "Place" is a cognitive construct. "Place name" (in text encoding) is a sequence of characters in a writing system that are understood to refer to a place. There can be other textual references to a place: descriptions, euphemisms, puns, allusions, ethnica, etc.


Tom Elliott, Ph.D.
Associate Director for Digital Programs and Senior Research Scholar
Institute for the Study of the Ancient World (NYU)

On Tue, Mar 14, 2017 at 6:21 AM, Lou Burnard <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
Interesting set of questions!

I'll just address this one for now:

"the physical places I want to tag ... manifest in the text in a variety of ways"

The TEI is a bit old fashioned perhaps in making a strong ontological distinction between tagging about a named entity (a place) and its manifestation (a placename). That's because it is, after all, the TEXT encoding initiative, not the THING encoding initiative. So the name of a place as it appears in a document is an intimate part of the document, which you might well want to tag as signalling something or other. Whereas all the things you might want to say about the thing being signalled are probably not present in the document at all, or not in the same place, or not in the same way. So we have both <placeName> for the former and <place> for the latter. You might lump together all the names used for a place as child elements of a <place> element, along with some indication of the way in which the names are applied, and also along with geographical information relating to the place as a real world object. That isn't a part of your text in the same way as the references to it and you would typically not put it inside your transcription but inside the metadata for describing it. You might simply flag all the references as they occur within the document and indicate that each one is "about" the same thing by means of a @ref or @key attribute on the reference. You might do both!

On 14/03/17 01:41, Megan Cytron wrote:
First off, apologies if this isn't the correct forum for this question.

I'm just embarking on a doctoral dissertation in which I hope to do a spatial analysis of a rather complex 20th-century novel. I'm a programmer (in another life) and have quite a bit of experience with GIS and XML and was planning to use it to tag the text I'm analyzing so I can generate statistics, charts, maps and other data-driven visualizations of the novel's inner workings.

After (re)discovering TEI (I worked with it way back in the 90s in a completely different way), it seems that I could adapt it to my use case, but I'm a bit uncertain of how best to capture all of the variables I want to look at. I have found many examples of TEI encoded texts, but none that go too deep into this particular brand of literary criticism. For example, these are some of the variables that interest me with a few examples:

--mappable places  (physical locations in the plot, literary overlapping, allusions, trajectories, overlapping with author's biography)
--changes in position (forward/backward/turns, uphill/downhill, stops,  fast/slow, inside/outside)
--narration and voice (1st person, 3rd person, subjective/objective/omniscient, stream of consciousness)
--semantic fields (colors, sickness, science, feelings, physical states, atmospheric conditions)
--rhetorical devices (anaphora, metonymy, paranomasia, juxtaposition)
--intertextuality (allusion, quotation, parody)
--time alterations (analepsis/prolepsis/flash sideways/foreshadowing, anachronism)
--verbs (type, aspect, mode, tense)

I'm fully prepared to invent my own tagging scheme, if it makes sense to do so, but if something already exists and has been implemented with success, I'd much prefer to replicate what I can and contribute another example (or many!).

Is anyone else using TEI in this way? Are there any resources (aside from the obvious TEI Guidelines) and especially examples that would be useful for someone just starting out? Or groups where folks are talking about projects like this and sharing experiences?

In particular, I'm finding the "place" and "placename" tags to be somewhat confusing for what I want to do, because the physical places I want to tag (with lat/long coordinates and some fencing) manifest in the text in a variety of ways (proper names, metonymy, ellipsis, ironic allusions, via demonyms applied to people or objects, etc.).

Any help or general "pointing in the right direction" that you may be able to offer would be greatly appreciated!