By Jerome McGann
A manifesto for the arts within the electronic age, A New Republic of Letters argues that the historical past of texts, including the equipment during which they're preserved and made on hand for interpretation, are the overriding topics of humanist examine within the twenty-first century. conception 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 style for lots of many years yet which versions the troubles of electronic humanities with stunning fidelity.
For centuries, books were find out how to defend and transmit wisdom. yet as libraries and museums digitize their information and readers abandon paperbacks for capsule desktops, electronic media are changing books because the repository of cultural reminiscence. whereas either the undertaking of the arts and its conventional modes of scholarship and demanding learn are a similar, the electronic surroundings is riding disciplines to paintings with new instruments that require significant, and infrequently very tricky, institutional adjustments. Now greater than ever, students have to recuperate the idea and approach to philological research if the arts are to fulfill their perennial commitments. Textual and editorial scholarship, frequently marginalized as a narrowly technical area, can be made a concern of humanists' attention.
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Additional info for A new republic of letters : memory and scholarship in the age of digital reproduction
Families. Nations. Ceremonies. No question but these machines are unreliable and often destructive. And they get out of hand, some dangerously out of hand. The story of the Tower of Babel and the myth of Faust are ways of reflecting on memory machines that have gone out of control. Both are philological reflections, the one from a theological view of the world, the other from a philosophical and scientific one. The one is an imperial tale, the other is personal. Personally I prefer the personal ones.
That history has much to teach us now. Our Textual Condition has forged an extensive record of its own making—which is to say, a process of critical reflection in manuscript and print that is itself part of the character, shape, and meaning of the history. Whether we work with bibliographical or with digital technology, scholars want an optimal access to and understanding of our documentary materials. In this respect we can see, at our historical moment, the relevance of philology and its textual critical foundation.
Libraries, museums, digital environments. Families. Nations. Ceremonies. No question but these machines are unreliable and often destructive. And they get out of hand, some dangerously out of hand. The story of the Tower of Babel and the myth of Faust are ways of reflecting on memory machines that have gone out of control. Both are philological reflections, the one from a theological view of the world, the other from a philosophical and scientific one. The one is an imperial tale, the other is personal.
A new republic of letters : memory and scholarship in the age of digital reproduction by Jerome McGann