In the excitingly titled “So then what happened?” Rob outlined some of the major changes that we’ve introduced to the marginalia schema, such as using specific <layer>s to differentiate between typographic text and Blake’s writing, dispensing with line numbers for the typographic text, and dividing the annotations into discrete zones with fluid spatial coordinates. Armed with these new and fascinating solutions, we decided to transcribe the marginalia BADs independently and to hold bimonthly update sessions to discuss our progress or talk about any specific problems that came up.Continue reading
Book review: Paul Peucker, A Time of Sifting: Mystical Marriage and the Crisis of Moravian Piety in the Eighteenth Century
This review will appear in the spring 2017 issue of Blake. The reviewer is Marsha Keith Schuchard, the author of many articles and books on Blake and his circle. To the journal she has contributed “Blake’s Healing Trio: Magnetism, Medicine, and Mania,” “The Secret Masonic History of Blake’s Swedenborg Society,” and “Young William Blake and the Moravian Tradition of Visionary Art,” as well as an article with Keri Davies, “Recovering the Lost Moravian History of William Blake’s Family,” which is referenced below.Continue reading
Seven months ago I wrote a blog titled “Some Promising Forays into Transcribing Blake’s Marginalia.” Much has changed!
After months of grappling with the logistical and philosophical challenges involved in marginalia transcription, we now have what we think will be the actual marginalia tag-set moving forward (though to be sure, there are a few questions we’re saving for Blake Camp).
As a follow up to the “Promising Forays” I want to provide a brief quasi-narrative description of how we got from point A to point B.Continue reading
In the fall, BAND (our group in Rochester) decided to try out the Slack app.
Growing group numbers and starting more complicated and diverse projects led us to try out a communication platform that was built to handle such dynamic work environments. It was/is an experiment, and I promised to check back after a semester to reflect on how the experiment was going. Here’s my report:Continue reading
Last October we gave away a reproduction print, but we weren’t done there. To continue our celebration of volume 50 of the journal, we have a copy of the Trianon Press facsimile of Blake’s Dante engravings, which was published in 1978 for the William Blake Trust. For this we are very grateful to John Windle, who donated it for the giveaway.Continue reading
A few years ago I was having drinks with someone I had recently met through an interdisciplinary research/reading group at the University of North Carolina. He was a geneticist. In the course of our conversation he confided that he no longer read books, especially those books having to do with literature. Since everything reduced to genetic coding, which revealed itself in its own inscrutable (to me, even though he tried to explain it) language, all macrocosmic products of human artistry were epiphenomenal, superfluous. We were just humming flesh lumps elaborately but programmatically spun out from inherited scripts. He stared hard into his ice cubes as he said this. I’d quote him, but I can’t remember his exact words.Continue reading
I’ve more or less finished the Blake Quarterly winter issue and will be publishing it next week. The months ahead are traditionally good to me, as the centerpiece of our spring issue is the sales review by Bob Essick, which is a dream to edit. When I’m working on an issue I’m usually focused on the contents and on getting it out on time, to the exclusion of all but basic journal housekeeping tasks, such as updating IP addresses for institutional subscriptions or sending renewal reminders to individual subscribers. The prospect of a few easier months, however, has my thoughts turning to two small but potentially insidious words: special project.Continue reading
In collaboration with UNC Libraries and ITS Research Computing, the William Blake Archive is launching on 12 December 2016 a complete and transformative redesign of its website. This new site, www.blakearchive.org, retains all of the features of the previous site, which had become so indispensable to Blake scholars, and offers vast improvements, making it easier than ever for educators and scholars to access and study Blake’s inimitable works.Continue reading
One of many things that working on the separate plates has gotten me thinking about is how we conceptualize units of space. Doing the textual transcriptions for the separate plates requires that we use a lot of <space/> and <vspace/> tags. Inside these elements, we use the attribute “extent=” to describe the size of the space. The difficulty of this is that I never feel like I have any idea what it is we’re counting. It seems like the standard instruction in the matter is to put down a rough guess and wait until it’s up on the testing site to ensure the accuracy of the number. This makes sense, but it would seem that even to put in a rough guess a person would need to have some idea what the unit is. Consulting the “Filling out an XML BAD File” on the WIP site doesn’t provide any help in the matter.Continue reading