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Home :: Archive :: 1993 :: November ::
Re: Electronic Scholarship
Shakespeare Electronic Conference, Vol. 4, No. 857.  Monday, 29 November 1993.
 
(1)     From:   John Lavagnino <
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        Date:   Sunday, 28 Nov 1993 12:41 EDT
        Subj:   Re: Electronic Scholarship
 
(2)     From:   William Godshalk <
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        Date:   Sunday, 28 Nov 1993 22:43:44 -0500 (EST)
        Subj:   Re: SHK 4.0848  Re: Electronic Scholarship
 
(3)     From:   Ed Pechter <
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        Date:   Monday, 29 Nov 1993 08:21:34 -0500 (EST)
        Subj:   Re: SHK 4.0855  Re: Electronic Scholarship
 
 
(1)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           John Lavagnino <
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Date:           Sunday, 28 Nov 1993 12:41 EDT
Subject:        Re: Electronic Scholarship
 
Jeremiads against electronic texts don't usually have any basis in
the study of such texts.  Their content is mostly determined by
their genre, which demands that the moderns be denounced and the
ancients praised, and that warnings must be issued to the effect that
culture as we know it will disappear unless we go back to the old ways.
 
A lot of time and effort is wasted on the composition of these jeremiads:
wasted not because they're wrong (just because the genre determines
the content doesn't mean that it's erroneous content), but because
it's all been said many times, most recently by those who warned us
that paperback books would destroy culture.  Everything that you now
read about the perils of electronic texts was said before about
paperbacks: they don't give you the Real Text, only a copy of dubious
authenticity; they don't have the permanence of hardbound books;
they don't instill a proper respect for the gravity of culture,
because they make it too widely available.
 
Anyone studying the real cultural effects of paperbacks has to go
beyond these prophecies---and those on the other side that told
us paperbacks would make the world perfect---and do some real
research into the phenomenon.  The same is true with electronic texts.
 
John Lavagnino
Department of English and American Literature, Brandeis University
 
(2)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           William Godshalk <
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Date:           Sunday, 28 Nov 1993 22:43:44 -0500 (EST)
Subject: 4.0848  Re: Electronic Scholarship
Comment:        Re: SHK 4.0848  Re: Electronic Scholarship
 
I love books. I love old books. I love books that get my hands dirty. I hate
reading from this screen. When I come home late, I tell my wife I've been at a
bar. She knows I've been at a bookstore. I have a passion for books. We
insulate our house with them. They're all over - tables, floors, closets. Even
our cats read books.
 
Sorry, my passion took over.
 
Yours, Bill Godshalk
 
(3)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Ed Pechter <
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Date:           Monday, 29 Nov 1993 08:21:34 -0500 (EST)
Subject: 4.0855  Re: Electronic Scholarship
Comment:        Re: SHK 4.0855  Re: Electronic Scholarship
 
James McKenna's "belt _and_ suspenders" seems right.  There was a lot
on this subject in the last but one _Representations_ (#42?), including
1 piece on the specific differences produced by different ways of
receiving, retrieving & circulating.  There are some MLA sessions on
the matter this year.
 

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