by  Peter L. Shillingsburg

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As technologies for electronic texts develop into ever more sophisticated engines for capturing different kinds of information, radical changes are underway in the way we write, transmit and read texts. In this thought-provoking work, Peter Shillingsburg considers the potentials and pitfalls, the enhancements and distortions, the achievements and inadequacies of electronic editions of literary texts. In tracing historical changes in the processes of composition, revision, production, distribution and reception, Shillingsburg reveals what is involved in the task of transferring texts from print to electronic media. He explores the potentials, some yet untapped, for electronic representations of printed works in ways that will make the electronic representation both more accurate and more rich than was ever possible with printed forms. However, he also keeps in mind the possible loss of the book as a material object and the negative consequences of technology.




1. Manuscript, book, and text in the twenty-first century
2. Complexity, endurance, accessibility, beauty, sophistication, and scholarship
3. Script act theory
4. An electronic infrastructure for script acts
5. Victorian fiction: shapes shaping reading
6. The dank cellar of electronic texts
7. Negotiating conflicting aims in textual scholarship
8. Hagiolatry, cultural engineering, monument building, and other functions of scholarly editing
9. The aesthetic object: ‘the subject of our mirth’
10. Ignorance in literary studies

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