Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Whitney Trettien: "Reading Digital Elisions"

Whitney Anne Trettien
Duke University

Hidden in Gilt: Fore-edge Paintings, Restoration-era Reading and Digital Elisions


1 comment:

jmoser2@du.edu said...

This is very interesting research!
Picking up and holding a book and turning its pages, examining manuscripts and leafing through old and perhaps, well-worn pages, fanning the edges of a book for a picture/painting--all of these experiences, along with other kinds of "reading/using/seeing/feeling" printed texts, offer unique sensations that intimately activate and excite the physical senses. Readers have to truly "grasp" for any co-equal "modern" sensory experience from the Internet, aside from visualizing what appears on the monitor, that which comes by touch and the irregular and repetitive sounds heard from clicking the mouse and tapping the keyboard. Access to new information, whether in print, audio-visual or digital, always has its own delights, of course.

When academically noteworthy (and that may always be a subjective call!)I feel that a reference comment/note should accompany digitized texts and images to further describe the appearance, composite, any unique texture or structure, and current condition of the actual printed work. Especially noted should be whether the work contains fore-edge paintings plus other unique features, formatting, type styles, binding and publishing details. As a sort of example, these kinds of comments are somewhat made by online booksellers basely describing a used book's condition. Better worded examples have been made by Old English scholars in documenting, describing the preservation and the condition of surviving texts. Digital literary standards could be developed for the "best way" to report, list and describe the physical aspects of a printed text/record.