1 Matching Annotations
- Apr 2017
I want toconsider the mechanics of one of the processes of authentication, before turning to theobstacles that digital medieval projects face in bridging the divide that can separate cred-ible scholarship and the new technologies used to facilitate its creation. Consider thehybrid edition ofCædmon’s Hymn, edited by D.P. O’Donnell and published as a bookwith an accompanying CD in 2005.15Several years after publication, O’Donnell noted ofhis own edition that, despite the inclusion of substantial textual variants made possible bythe mixed digital⁄physical publication, he has ‘yet to see a citation that does not use aform found in the print edition’ (O’Donnell, 114). There are three important points tobe made here. One, in 7 years since publication, CDs have largely become obsolete, andthe future of optical media more generally is questionable. Two, textual variants are notfrequently cited – only very particular types of scholarship are concerned with exploringand discussing textual variants, whether as philological evidence or as literary texts ontheir own right. Scholars regularly discuss Langland’sPiers Plowman, a poem about whichcritics tend to be keenly aware of the state of the text in competing critical editions,without tracking back to the constituent readings made available through the editorialapparatus. Three, O’Donnell’s comments point to a practical difficulty, though one heattempted to resolve by encouraging citation of numbered paragraphs rather than print-bound page numbers: it is difficult to cite things in the hybrid digital⁄analog world thatdominates the present moment.
Discussion of my edition of Caedmon's Hymn