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MVP White Paper on Collation Tools (2011)

In 2011, the Modernist Versions Project needed to know what tools were being developed and used for collation. This paper is a survey of notable collation tools available for testing in 2011. It builds upon Hans Walter Gabler’s white paper, “Remarks on Collation,” published online in 2008, and accounts for collation tool development since Gabler’s survey. This paper is not a history of collation tools in the humanities. It is a survey and review of tools that are still being used for collation and visualization of collated texts. We review eight tools that have been developed specifically for textual collation, one tool developed for displaying the Text Encoding Initiative’s parallel segmentation in a web browser, and two version control systems.

PDF of White paper (5.2 MB)

Interdisciplinarity at MSA15

Last month, I made the trip from Victoria to Brighton for the fifteenth Modernist Studies Association conference. This was my second outing at MSA, after last year’s conference in Las Vegas. While I battled jet lag, joining my colleagues on the train

from Brighton to the University of Sussex, following the mod symbols across campus and rifling through our newspaper copies of the conference program, I was particularly struck by the diversity of this year’s conference. Although MSA is traditionally a North American phenomenon (see Katherine Ebury’s post here: ), this year I had the pleasure of meeting fellow modernists coming from places as diverse as Greece, Japan, and Poland. And although the conference was still largely populated by Anglophones from either side of the Atlantic (most easily distinguished by how much sleep they were getting),  I found my conversations with colleagues from further away some of the most exciting and most memorable of the week. Read more

Year of Ulysses International Art Competition Winner

The MVP is proud to announce the winner of our “Year of Ulysses International Art Competition.” Travis Williams, whose “Ulysses — The Human Bodyssey” “seeks to stand as a visual microcosm of Joyce’s masterpiece and to visually represent, as Joyce brilliantly achieved in Ulysses, the unions of world and word, science and art, the body and language, and ultimately, the flesh and the spirit.”  Travis receives a $500 cash prize. Read more

Text as Technology: Rethinking John Bryant’s “Fluid Text”

John Bryant, in his essay “Witness and Access: The Uses of the Fluid Text,” argues that virtually every literary work exists in multiple versions that are both materially and textually distinct. One major source of such variation is revision, whether by authors, collaborators, or editors. Bryant urges the critical community to witness writers’ revisions, by turning away from “a single, non-variant text” (26), to read instead “the text of the history of the book” (21). This is what Bryant calls the fluid text.

I am currently researching S.T. Coleridge’s process of revising and representing the radical poems of his youth, poems that mortified him as his political views developed. I share Bryant’s concerns, and I am only too ready to agree with him that revision is a worthwhile object of study.

However, “fluid text” is a odd term for describing the diachronic and plural existence of literary works. Read more

Diving the Douglas Goldring Fonds

Douglas Goldring; Courtesy of the University of Victoria Special Collections
Douglas Goldring; Courtesy of the University of Victoria Special Collections

The University of Victoria Special Collections houses the Douglas Goldring fonds.  Goldring was an important figure in modernist periodical culture: he  was the sub-editor of modernism’s first little magazine, The English Review (1908), edited by Ford Madox Hueffer*, and once Ford lost control of the Review in 1910, Goldring ran a little magazine called The Tramp, in which he published Wyndham Lewis and Filippo Tommaso Marinetti. In 1914,  Goldring advised Lewis on the publication of BLAST, a year before founding his own publishing company, Selwyn and Blount (ODNB).

As a periodical scholar, I was excited to sift through Goldring’s records. Ford sent out a famous circular announcing the birth of the English Review in 1907. I know many scholars who have attempted unsuccessfully to locate this circular, and I had hoped that maybe the fires of history would have spared a copy of it in some folder labelled “miscellaneous” (these are my favourite folders to look through when working in the archives). Read more

Finnegans Flotsam: What is a Modernist Text? A Special Collections Exhibition

The following text is from an exhibit curated by Dr. J. Matthew Huculak in Special Collections at the University of Victoria. You can view the exhibit during these hours:

8:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m. (September-April)
10:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m. (May-August)


Finnegans Wake, Faber and Faber, 1939. Special Collections, The University of Victoria.
Finnegans Wake, Faber and Faber, 1939. Special Collections, The University of Victoria.

Did you know that Special Collections at the University of Victoria has a rich collection of James Joyce material?

What makes this collection particularly unique is its gathering of facsimile “avant-textes,” which comprise the manuscript material of a given work (not shown), as well as its near-complete compilation of periodical and special-edition versions of Joyce’s work.This exhibit highlights some of Special Collection’s material pertaining to Finnegans Wake (1923-1939). By the time Joyce started writing Finnegans Wake 1923, he was already famous internationally for the “Scandal of Ulysses,” when his magnum opus was banned and declared obscene in the United States and Great Britain.[1]

Read more