The Role of Scholars in the Era of Digital Texts Essays

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In her introduction to Electronic Text: Investigations in Method and Theory, Kathryn Sutherland asks if there is "a real danger that the scholar-worker, toiling for years in the remote regions of the library stacks in the hope of becoming expert in one small field, will be transformed by the computer into the technician, the nerdy navigator able to locate, transfer, and appropriate at an ever faster rate expert entries from a larger set of information that he/she no longer needs or desires to understand" (Sutherland 10). Her inquiry is based on an issue that still plagues many scholars: with quick access to so much digitized information, how do we evaluate what we still need and desire to understand? Of course, her question implies that …show more content…
Still, scholars have attempted to represent what one most needs and desires to understand in an! edition of Doctor Faustus. Evaluating a digital edition of Doctor Faustus can not-and should not-be based on exactly the same process even though it may be based on the same set of problems inherent to the Doctor Faustus work. Standards by which one may evaluate the digital Doctor Faustus are present in three very different digital versions of the work: The Perseus Digital Library edition, Early English Books Online (EEBO-TCP) collection, and the Versioning Machine electronic publishing environment.

To date, the two most critically important print editions of Doctor Faustus are W.W. Greg's Marlowe's 'Doctor Faustus' 1604-1616: Parallel Texts (1950) and David Bevington and Eric Rasmussen's Doctor Faustus A- and B-texts (1604, 1616) published in 1993. Editors of print editions have sought to ameliorate Faustus copy-text problem by printing both the A and B texts together in one volume. Greg lays out parallel versions on facing pages while Bevington and Rasumussen print the texts sequentially, A before B. Certainly, these print editions still pose some editorial complexities. In order to construct his facing-page arrangement, Greg had to "compromise" Marlowe's representation of the original plays.* In the original printings, a scene that appears early in the first act of the A text may not appear until much later in the B text, but since Greg was attempting to show p! arallel

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