Electronic Scholarly Editions

What a fascinating read this is to be sure.

I was struck immediately by the firm inference to the important roles we as scholars have to play in the categorising and availability of scholastic works in new media. While Price spends a good deal of the article discussing the various pitfalls and difficulties that must be overcome it is clear that he is encouraging people like us to get on board. Indeed I think that one of the most important parts of the narrative is his wish that we get others involved.

Computers in use

The discussion on ownership of a piece and the facility available to an author to edit his piece, is shown by Price to have a lot more depth to it than I had originally thought. Indeed the discussion brought to mind the once mighty George Lucas and his constant tampering with the Holy Trilogy that makes up the first Star Wars Trilogy, by which I mean Episodes 4-6. Much consternation has appeared over the last few years in connection with his tampering, from the inclusion of new scenes in the originals to the writing and characters in the Prequel Trilogy that left some people heart broken. The Internet is never far behind however and couldn’t let the opportunity drop to make fun in it’s own way.

But I digress somewhat. My point is that perhaps we may be able to learn something about the pitfalls this potential persistent editing might have from cinema and other media.

The next part of the article that I found interesting is the way in which the availability of these texts on the net and the way in which it is presented to us, will be tailored in some way by the editor as to how it is read or interpreted. While I am aware of this having some dire consequences, it is I think an aspect of the Internet that we may have to accept somewhat, and in so doing be able to overcome it. A recent TED talk pointed out how much more refined the web has become since the inclusion of a Google search bar at the top of our Browser. Google remembers our search histories and the patterns of things that interest us. This means that when we search for something the results page will differ from person to person.

It seems that the debate on Editing is alive and kicking, all the more reason to give praise here to Price for having given us a taste of both sides of the debate.

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