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What Pickens says about “a procedure to account for re-creative textual change” applies to the Homer Multitext project. And, conversely, what I have outlined in this presentation about the vastly enhanced capabilities of an online Multitext edition of Homer can be applied to the editing of a wide variety of different kinds of texts.

As “proof of concept,” the online formatting of the Homer Multitext project could be extended to the kinds of texts I have already mentioned in Poetry as Performance (Nagy 1996:9-11). There I highlighted the relevance of the multitext editorial format of Pickens (1978) to two concepts:

(a) the concept of mouvance as developed by Paul Zumthor (1983, 1984, 1987) in his work on medieval textuality and oral poetics

(b) the concept of variance as developed of Bernard Cerquiglini (1989) in his work on problems of textuality in general.

In Poetry as Performance (Nagy 1996:10n12), I add this comment about the applicability of concepts of multitextuality to questions of editing in general, above and beyond questions of editing texts that derive from oral poetic traditions: “Other important works on the question of approaches to variation in the editing of texts include McGann 1983 (cf. also 1991) and Gabler 1984 (cf. 1993); see in general Greetham 1993.”

In my next five years as Director of the Center for Hellenic Studies, I have set for myself a personal five-year plan, of the highest priority, for insuring the institutional sustainability of the Homer Multitext project as

(1) a vital online tool for classicists and for humanists in general, for specialists and non-specialists alike

and

(2) a model for the online publishing of research that drives more research—and of research that drives teaching, which in turn drives more research.

This formulation of my short-term plan reflects both my awareness of the limitations of my own role in something as big as the Homer Multitext project and my commitment to continue working with the editors and the other two co-editors of this long-term multigenerational project even after my eventual retirement as director of its host institution. My hope is that the Homer Multitext project, as it has evolved over the last ten years of my directorship at the Center for Hellenic Studies—and as it will evolve over the next five years, if all goes well—will consolidate the long-term institutional hosting of the Homer Multitext project by the Center for Hellenic Studies. It is also my hope that such a long-term process of consolidation will become multi-institutional, so that the hosting of the Homer Multitext project may be shared by institutions that can organize themselves as partner hosts in a symbiotic relationship with the Center for Hellenic Studies. One such partner host is the Ilex Foundation ( ilexfoundation.org ), of which I am a founding member.

About the shape of things to come

Throughout this presentation, I have been describing our team of participants in the Homer Multitext project as multigenerational . From the start, I highlighted the fact that we are a blend of junior as well as senior professors, of students as well as professors, and that the students, whose levels of study range from undergraduate to postbaccalaureate to doctoral to postdoctoral, are actively engaged in the ongoing research on the Homer Multitext project in collaboration with their professors and with each other. That is because, as I also highlighted at the beginning of this presentation, one of the most important aspects of our mission in the overall project is to shape dynamic models of collaboration in research and teaching at all levels of education.

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Source:  OpenStax, Online humanities scholarship: the shape of things to come. OpenStax CNX. May 08, 2010 Download for free at http://cnx.org/content/col11199/1.1
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