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 equipment through which they're preserved and made on hand for interpretation, are the overriding topics of humanist learn within the twenty-first century. concept and philosophy, that have grounded the arts for many years, not suffice as an highbrow framework. Jerome McGann proposes we glance as an alternative to philology--a self-discipline which has been out of favor for lots of many years yet which versions the troubles of electronic humanities with extraordinary fidelity.
For centuries, books were easy methods to protect and transmit wisdom. yet as libraries and museums digitize their files and readers abandon paperbacks for capsule desktops, electronic media are exchanging books because the repository of cultural reminiscence. whereas either the challenge of the arts and its conventional modes of scholarship and significant learn are an identical, the electronic setting is using disciplines to paintings with new instruments that require significant, and infrequently very tricky, institutional alterations. Now greater than ever, students have to get well 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, might be made a concern of humanists' attention.
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Additional resources for A New Republic of Letters: Memory and Scholarship in the Age of Digital Reproduction
In these cases the transcription of the primary documents is generally executed with care. Accuracy is a great concern here because reliable preservation is the primary goal. But this laudable work by librarians throws into sharp relief a crucial point about textual studies. From a scholar’s and educator’s point of view, textual accuracy (along with basic documentary metadata about the process of transcription) is only a minimal sine qua non for textual materials. Librarians do not readily move beyond that specialized focus, nor should scholars or educators expect them to.
But since Boeckh did cast his thought in those hard nominals, Lyotard may be excused on this matter. Myself, I would recover the infinitives that rest latent in Boeckh’s nouns. For what we know and what we have known are ongoing. So Philology: to preserve, monitor, investigate, and augment our cultural inheritance, including all the material means by which it has been realized and transmitted. Infinitives are better because they signal the conscious obligation that a discipline undertakes. ” Terence in a new key.
Its chief operation is to thicken what it knows and fill out its field of attention: think of Herodotus, Wolf, Grimm, or Boeckh. ”8 Truth in the ordinary philosophical or scientific senses of the term is a heuristic concern of philological method. Nil alienum. For the philologist, astrology is as true and as rich in consequence as the Pythagorean theorem, dialectics, or Planck’s constant. And philology has a science, an order of method, for accessing its kind of truth. 9 It is a book for the scholar and the interested citizen alike—not the least of its virtues.
A New Republic of Letters: Memory and Scholarship in the Age of Digital Reproduction by Jerome McGann