Category Archives: Textkritik

Diese thematische Kategorie beinhaltet Beiträge, in denen es um textkritische Fragen, Probleme und Lösungen geht; Emendation, Konjektur, Fehler, Normalisierung, Modernisierung.

Ethica Complementoria Digital Scholarly Edition – Redux. Pt. 9: Slowing Down

Day 9 of my summer research leave

After yesterday’s proofreading marathon, I felt pretty depleted today. On top of that, I got a migraine which stopped things for a while. So I decided to do a slow day instead of working through the remaining unchecked and unsorted files in my temporary transcriptions folder. I meandered from here to there, leafing through the materials in my binders and physical folders, tidying the Zotero project library, updating information about the project online, etc.

I was thinking about in which way I can best create a post-factum data management plan for the Ethica project, including the digital scholarly edition and all the other related research. Something where I could give myself a guiding line for the future and make informed decisions about what data I keep where, which files are active and how to version control them, which platforms I use for which materials, and where data might be out of sight, like the XML file in the DTAQ environment, which I cannot change immediately, but have to use their ticket system and email. And what to do with the things that are not digital.

I suddenly felt the urge to take a picture of the spread-out documents on the table in my office: Because they are data, too! Some of them are printouts which I created for easier readability, so they could safely be thrown away without any loss, but many have handwritten notes on them, contain sketches of textual relations, corrections of all sorts and kinds or do not have a digital counterpart: they only exist physically.

An example of paper-bound data: printed and hand-annotated lists of errors and their corrections and Latin phrases from the Ethica Complementoria print from 1643.

I’m not a fan of keeping a lot of paper around, but in this case, I had to admit that I was not ready to throw them all out. Sensibly re-digitising them will be a bit of work and might not be worthwhile unless I work on something concretely for which I will need the paper-bound data. So back they go into their binders and onto the shelves. But into the data management plan, too!

Ethica Complementoria Digital Scholarly Edition – Redux. Pt. 7: Demotivation

Day 7 of my summer research leave

I am not happy. Quite the opposite.

In the morning, after a friendly chat with a colleague about a copy of the 1648 Löfflerey-Kunst, I searched for “Ethica Complementoria” in the catalogue of the Bavarian State Library and what popped up as the first hit was the book:

Knape, Joachim. 2020. Rhetorik als Komplementärethik: Georg Greflingers Ethica Complementoria 1643. Text und Untersuchung. Wiesbaden: Harrassowitz Verlag.

My heart dropped; I was shocked.

Since 2009, I have been working on the digital scholarly edition of the works and writings of Georg Greflinger, and since 2012, in particular, on the digital scholarly edition of the Ethica Complementoria. I have published blog posts, presented at national and international conferences, written an entire book about its print history, delivered three transcriptions to the German Text Archive and drafted the scholarly edition.

It is a non-funded side-project on which I cannot work full-time and often only in short sprints and bursts, and my poor health and life-changing events in the past years have further delayed the publication. However, from early on, I have written publically online about the project and explicitly and expressively invited fellow researchers to contact me. There was – and is – only a tiny research community around the Ethica and similar texts. The community for digital scholarly editions of early modern printed books is small. One would think that publishing barrier-free on the World Wide Web would ensure being seen, read, and contacted in an event like this: that another researcher is planning, preparing and publishing a scholarly edition.

I sincerely believe in collaboration: working together will improve research. It will help to address biases and blind spots. It will distribute labour and make research projects less vulnerable when people have to move on, pause, or redefine their involvement. It will increase the probability of receiving funding or covering costs that occur during a project because they can be divided or carried by those with access to funds. I believe it will also increase honesty because making decisions that can hurt others can be addressed earlier and perhaps avoided altogether with the peer pressure of people looking at what you’re doing already at an early stage. But that might be just me and my beliefs.

I will now have to update websites, project descriptions, data management plans, proposals, and repositories because someone else already published the edition princeps of the Ethica Complementoria from 1643. It will be much harder, if not impossible for me now to find a publisher that is willing to publish an accompanying print version of my digital edition with a too similar book on the market.

From what I have read of the book, it provides a solid introduction to the content of the Ethica, its function, and exemplarity as the first original German Komplimentierlehre. With the commentary, it will be beneficial for students. It’s available both as a printed book and as PDF, so it will serve those who want to close-read the text in a modern yet authoritative version and want to search for specific terms.

I would have loved to contribute to this edition with all the work I had already put into transcribing the text(s), describing the different issues and copies, and my vast overview of variants between the first and most of the later prints.

Now, I will redirect my efforts and make the XML/TEI P5-encoded transcription of the 1643 print available, and then work on the systematic reconstruction of revisions and edits made to the Ethica in the different genealogical groups.

And, if I may, as moral suasion: We don’t have to, but we can collaborate. With don’t have to, but we can ask about the status of a project. And we don’t have to, but we can give a fellow scholar a heads-up about a significant publication that will affect their work.