Before the Gutenberg Parenthesis

From Media in Transition 5: Creativity, Ownership and Collaboration in the Digital Age,Plenary 1: “Folk Cultures and Digital Cultures”

More empirically, there has emerged in medieval studies a “New Philology” which acknowledges that when a scribe copied a literary work he subconsciously or deliberately intervened in the text, adding, subtracting, substituting, so that the result is a compromise between what the author wrote and what the scribe felt he ought to have written or what he felt the people he was writing for wanted to read, and that consequently for a given literary work we should not so much seek to re-reconstruct the original (which is always lost) from the scribal variants available, but rejoice in, and appreciate, this multiplicity of variants, each evidently viable in its local context.

Interesting, in as much as the idea that the transcriber contextualizes the work, making it partly his own creative enterprise as that of the person whose work he is replicating. Adding something to the final output. The paper touches on this idea of remixing content. See also Mark Amerika and Remixology

Note: The paper is available on the Ice Cubes Wiki


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