By Jerome McGann
A manifesto for the arts within the electronic age, A New Republic of Letters argues that the heritage of texts, including the tools wherein they're preserved and made on hand for interpretation, are the overriding topics of humanist research within the twenty-first century. concept and philosophy, that have grounded the arts for many years, now not suffice as an highbrow framework. Jerome McGann proposes we glance as an alternative to philology--a self-discipline which has been out of style for plenty of many years yet which versions the troubles of electronic humanities with magnificent fidelity.
For centuries, books were how you can defend and transmit wisdom. yet as libraries and museums digitize their data and readers abandon paperbacks for capsule desktops, electronic media are changing books because the repository of cultural reminiscence. whereas either the challenge of the arts and its conventional modes of scholarship and important examine are an analogous, the electronic setting is using disciplines to paintings with new instruments that require significant, and sometimes very tough, institutional alterations. Now greater than ever, students have to get better the speculation and approach to philological research if the arts are to fulfill their perennial commitments. Textual and editorial scholarship, usually marginalized as a narrowly technical area, will be made a concern of humanists' attention.
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Extra info for A new republic of letters : memory and scholarship in the age of digital reproduction
I sketch this history, and end with these problems, to help guide the needed changes along lines that will meet our educational demands—the traditional requirements of what was anciently called philologia perennis. 2 “The Inorganic Organization of Memory” I Let’s try to imagine philology as the ground of literary and cultural studies. Philology, not philosophy, because philology’s horizon is not a history of ideas but an institutional and programmatic history. 1 Those huddled, dryasdust positivists are yearning to be free.
Weinberger is addressing the difference between the traditional library and the internet. ” When I imagine a philologist parsing that sentence, this is what I think: —as to “understand[ing] what of the old is worth holding on to,” the sobering truth is that we cannot understand, and further, that we will always be too late recognizing our failure to understand. On this matter many examples could be cited, though one may suffice, being so notorious: the burning of Byron’s Memoirs. A group of men, most of them friends of the recently deceased poet, several among his oldest and most devoted friends, assembled in the late spring of 1824 to decide what to do with the Memoirs Byron left in trust with his close friend Thomas Moore.
If the system is not “open” in that way it is not, in the philological perspective, theoretically complete. 4. From that general conceptual vantage, the system must have the flexibility to license, and ultimately store, an indefinite number of particular views of its artifacts and their relations, including different views of the system as a whole. That set of functions reflects the fact that a philological system is fundamentally a system of social software. It may be modeled and then instantiated in the paper-based form that we have inherited and still use, or in the online network that continues to emerge today and acquire more precise definition.
A new republic of letters : memory and scholarship in the age of digital reproduction by Jerome McGann