91 Matching Annotations
  1. Jan 2017
    1. Consideration of the postwar home should encourage historians of twentieth-century Britain to explore further the dynamic relationship between the 1930s and the 1950s: not to identify a postwar return to 'traditional' models but to unravel the com- plex manner in which dreams first dreamt before the second world war were realized, adapted or rejected in the Cold War era. While home life in the 1950s was not an unproblematic return to earlier patterns, neither was it sufficiently distinct from interwar experiences to be viewed as a 'new' model of living


    2. The modern in this period was a hybrid affair, assembled out of tales about the past as well as narratives of the future

  2. May 2016
    1. There i s another i mportant i ssue here that bears on dec i d i ng whether ag i  ven sem i ot  i c doma i n—l i ke v  i deo games— i s valuable or not  :  Sem i ot  i c do-ma i ns i n soc i ety are connected to other sem i ot  i c doma i ns i n a myr i ad of complex ways .  One of these i s that a g i  ven doma i n can be a good precursorfor learn i ng another one .  Because master i ng the mean i ng-mak  i ng sk  i lls i n,and tak  i ng on the i dent  i ty assoc i ated w  i th, the precursor doma i n fac i l i tateslearn i ng i n the other doma i n .  Fac i l i tat  i on can also happen because be i ng (orhav  i ng been) a member of the aff  i n i ty group assoc i ated w  i th the precursordoma i n fac i l i tates becom i ng a member of the aff  i n i ty group assoc i ated w  i ththe other doma i n, because the values, norms, goals, or pract  i ces of the pre-cursor group resemble i n some ways the other group ’ s values, norms, goals,or pract  i ces .

      When this was written in 2004, Gee had no perception of the coming revelations in video gaming via. commentaries and youtube playthroughs > dual authorship and shared experience.

    2. People who play,rev  i ew, and d i scuss such games, as well as those who des i gn and producethem, shape the external des i gn grammar of the sem i ot  i c doma i n of first-per-son shooter games through the i r ongo i ng soc i al i nteract  i ons .  It i s the i r ongo- i ng soc i al i nteract  i ons that determ i ne the pr i nc i ples and patterns through wh i ch people i n the doma i n can recogn i ze and  j udge th i nk  i ng, talk  i ng, read- i ng, wr i t  i ng, act  i ng, i nteract  i ng, valu i ng, and bel i ev  i ng character i st  i c of peo-ple who are i n the aff  i n i ty group assoc i ated w  i th first-person shooter games

      CREATING literacy as well as teaching it

    3. A form of th i s v  i ewpo i nt has long ex i sted i n western culture .  It i s ak  i n tothe v  i ewpo i nt, held by Plato and Ar i stotle

      yeah screw those guys

    1. Goals in games can often be reached by multiple routes [Gee's "multiple routes principle" (16)].


    2. Complex tasks are presented first as a small core experience that is practiced mul tiple times before being progres sively extended into a longer, more complex sequence


    1. This use of syntax and grammatical analysis is so so so interesting. I would love to see Shakespeare processed in this way - we know how he plays with language and motif, but his use of grammar is oft overlooked.

    2. Both close and distant reading practices can facilitate interpretation through subjective and objective means

      I certainly feel that there isn't as much of a distinction between the two practices now - perhaps that's a flaw in my education, or perhaps a strength. What I mean to say, is that in a single reading (especially when assisted by digital media) I often take a longer analysis considering everything, rather than using multiple readings to delve further into the depths of the novel. I feel like this use of technology allows and enhances this - you engage all kinds of reading by being able to see and explore the novel swiftly and through these different visualisations and readings so easily.

    3. digital tools seem to take the “human” (e.g., the significance of gender, race, class, religion, sexuality, and history) out of literary study.

      Like Shadika says, this is so inaccurate in terms of accessibility, but also when considering the fact that anyone can edit and produce, creating a wider diversity of intellectual wealth. Then, you have to consider the fact that sure, gender, race, class etc. are, undeniably, indeterminable from online readings. However, it is from much literature too. Most people don't know that Arthur Miller was Jewish, taking plays like "The Crucible" as the allegorical pieces that they are, but on a very 2D scale. What is the argument here; that books and journals expose explicitly the "humanity" of the authors?

  3. Apr 2016
    1. For example, if you are showing the results of opinion polls in the United States, the choice of whether you show the results by coloring the area inside the boundaries of the states or by a scatter plot or other population size unit will be crucial. If you are getting information about the outcome of an election, then the graphic effect should take the entire state into account

      I never think of this when looking at maps - I suppose it goes to show how used we are to just accepting graphics and visualisation! I think it's interesting too then, to consider in the abstract sense that we are beginning to understand the poor communication of scale in modern world maps - do we now transfer to using the "real scale" maps to more accurately portray things?

    1. This is why "gamification" is such an effective term. It keeps the term "game" and puts it right up in front, drawing attention to the form's mysterious power. But the kicker comes at the end: the "-ify" suffix it makes applying that medium to any given purpose seem facile and automatic

      I can't decide if this reads as highly sarcastic and ironic or not...

    2. "Serious games" has a specific rhetorical purpose. It is a phrase devised to earn the support of high-level governmental and corporate officials, individuals for whom "game" implies the terror just described; something trite and powerful, something that trivializes things, even if that trivialization is precisely part of its power.

      I agree entirely, but then what do we call a game that challenges our very moral perceptions? Our beliefs and ideals and understanding of the world?

    3. People know that there's something magical about games. They don't always express that opinion positively, but even condemnations of video games acknowledge that they contain special power, power to captivate us and draw us in, power to encourage us to repeat things we've seemingly done before, power to get us to spend money on things that seem not to exist, and so forth.

      @ Novels

    1. ig. 5. Text Rain shows interactors a video image of themselves in an alternate reality. The letters of lines of poetry fall from above, coming to rest on anything darker than the background—inviting creative play with this language made physical

      This interestingly reminds me of Conway's Game of Life! (Who knows if it is a game according to these standards honestly)

    2. Here, there is no winning or losing, and the point of interaction is not to accomplish a game goal. The inter-actor certainly forms opportunistic short-term goals, but usually in terms of the dramatic situation. In this case, to be “not a game” is to be a different kind of playable digital media, calling for a different type of engagement, than usually comes to mind when the term “game” is used

      I certainly relate to this argument moreso than the Sims one - Facade is really an experience, and although you can assign yourself the goal of 'keeping them together' it's really a set of algorithms with inevitable outcomes and a little bit of luck.

    3. Some people are under the impression that The Sims (fi g. 3) is the best-selling PC game of all time (Adams 2004). In fact, as of this writing the publisher of The Sims, Electronic Arts, on its website leaves all qualifi ers aside to call The Sims“The #1 best selling game of all time.” But others would say that, while The Sims may have sold well, it is not a game. Rather, they say, The Sims is a “toy” or “simulation.

      Throwback to our in class discussion about escapism!

    4. The promotional game for the movie A.I. had no offi cial name, but here I’ll use its nickname: “The Beast” (Stewart).

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Beast_(game) for those who, like me, were woefully uneducated on this.

    5. “It’s a computer novel.”And that is . . . ?“A novel that can be told only through the medium of the computer

      I'm not sure how I feel about this rigidity... if it was written specifically to be experienced on the computer, that's a different story to saying it can therefore only be experienced that way. That kind of rigidity is why the prejudice and judgement is how it is on digital humanities and novella. We have no conception of the future of literature as of right now.

    6. Portal

      I find the use of the word portal within digital interactions oddly fascinating, similarly I find "hub" intriguing - both connote this idea of other levels, platforms, transformation and transportation. It says a lot about how we view, and always have viewed technology.

  4. Mar 2016
    1. formal game defi nitions, and to distinguish between computer games and other forms of digital entertainment.

      We're barely even on the cusp of defining literary form, let alone digital and game forms. To consider and formally define them is to note their worth and continuty, which many people struggle to do with modern forms

    1. Learning in higher education is governed by rules though, however arbitrary and make-believe those rules may be.

      I very much concur with the frustrated tone held here, especially considering my educational background. In England, everything on a syllabus is dictated by one of three core programmes. Teachers don't mark any of our final assessments; all of our exams are forwarded to massive educational warehouses. We don't get our papers back unless we pay to get them back (despite the fact that they are technically our intellectual property) and we have no ability to gain extra credit or form our intelligence outside of formal examination. For someone like me, who struggles greatly in formal sit-down examination, you're really doomed to fail. There is no"play" in British education.

    2. separate from other aspects of life

      My first instinct was to say "but what about the Sims?", but really if you think about it, they're a bunch of algorithms that live for an average of 2520 minutes and can go to space through looking into a telescope, etc. ... that's definitely at least some form of escapism!

    1. To accomplish this, he makes 5% of his students’ grades dependent on their “quality of failure.” Privileging failure like this helps students speak up in class and for the class to identify if, how, and where they were wrong.

      Now this is an idea that I can buy into - as a young student with learning disabilities, I struggled inherently with outlining and verbalising my own opinions, let alone understanding the misconstructed-construction of others, like my professors. There's also the fact that many just don't try in a classroom environment, and to have my failures or those of an apt student posed against and akin to those who simply didn't bother has always been a constant source of frustration and anger for me.

    2. The Journal of Interactive Technology & Pedagogy features a section on “teaching fails,” and in this one Mark D. Pepper discusses what happened when a controversial image was shared on his class’s blog. When the comment thread “got ugly,” students wanted to know why their teacher hadn’t intervened—not noticing that it was 11pm at night. Pepper considers this a teaching fail because he did not meet his student expectations nor did he help them understand how a blog functions differently from a class discussion. This experience is a second tier failure since the issue stems from people’s expectations of technologies rather than the tool itself. The essay closes by discussing how Pepper now prepares students to interact with the blog and to establish ground rules, and is a useful site for those who include similar public assignments.

      This frustrates me, as the professor, in my eyes, did little/nothing wrong - yes, censorship and moderation is needed in communal projects such as this, and I agree entirely that had this occurred during the day/an accessible time for the professor, it would have wholly become his responsibility to monitor it. However, in lieu of the lateness of the event and his detachment from the students, I think it's more irresponsible to blame him than anything else, as it discredits the will of the student. After all, were a group of students to have a heated, controversial conversation outside of class-time, we would not expect a professor to mediate it from wherever he/she is.

    3. Although it can be disruptive and stressful to lose control of the classroom, these moments of failure create opportunities for engaged learning. The students learn to see us as fallible and discover that such problems can be overcome.

      In theory for sure: but much like many great ideologies, this is a flawed argument in its blatant optimism, in my opinion. Professors do, indeed, need to be able to adapt and diversify their teaching in order to expand the students reading and understanding of the subject and, on a grander scale, life. However, the reason interactive whiteboards, tablets and even simple projectors are called teaching assists is for the simple reason that they were created to further and assist educational potential. To deny that they greatly benefit education to the point of modern reliance in the field is to deny that the typewriter revolutionised the physical book.

    1. Ivanhoe

      I would be intrigued to know the meaning behind this reference - perhaps it's to Walter Scott's novel, which re-shaped 19th century genres and literary interests.

    2. Why are we so hesitant about doing the same thing?

      An interesting discourse following our consideration of audiobooks resembling printed books - why do we actually need novels to resemble "conventional" physical presentations? I think it's so largely to do with the lack of cultural identity that we have as a society - our music, clothing, art forms; we have nothing original, therefore nothing can or should be.

    3. IVANHOE (http://www.ivanhoegame.org/) is a research and pedagogical project for humanities scholars and students working in a digital age like our own, where books are only one among many cultural sources and objects of critical reflection. It is designed within the framework of the traditional goals of humanities education: to promote rigorous as well as imaginative thinking; to develop habits of thoroughness and flexibility when we investigate our cultural inheritance and try to exploit its sources and resources; and to expose and promote the collaborative dynamics of all humane studies, which by their nature both feed upon and resupply our cultural legacy.

      It's kind of frustrating how long drawn out this description is - I understand the modern necessity to sound as obnoxiously intelligent as possible (point and case there), but this doesn't really say much for a first impression on what Ivanhoe does, just what it means for the academic circle.

    1. "The name died before the man," Mr. Olsen-Smith says. "Compare Melville to Mark Twain, for instance — a man who remained beloved throughout his life and after, up to the present. People saved every scrap. … It's a different story with Melville."

      I find this very interesting in relation to modern scholarly studies of Melville as somewhat of a mystery and confusion. That is marginalia doesn't illuminate or endear him to us is intriguing.

    2. the notes Melville made in his copy of a critical source for Moby-Dick: Thomas Beale's 1839 book, The Natural History of the Sperm Whale.

      The glory of functional marginalia as opposed to my haphazard scribblings of "lol" and "relatable"

    1. He smote Babo’s hand down, but his own heart smote him harder. With infinite pity he withdrew his hold from Don Benito. Not Captain Delano, but Don Benito, the black, in leaping into the boat, had intended to stab.

      This seemingly hyperbolic, almost religiously empowered depiction of Delano's bravery is not an entirely obtuse one, seemingly. Papers of the time cite Delano as an hero of the utmost honour, receiving awards and commendation from both the King of Spain and the Chilean government. (Article from the Pensylvania United States’ Gazette (April 21, 1806)

    2. Some disclosures therein were, at the time, held dubious for both learned and natural reasons.

      Whilst the events of Benito Cereno take place in 1805 (despite Melville's assertion that it begins in 1799), Melville publishes his consideration of them in 1855. Although 50 years may seem minimal in history, these years were highly formative in the worlds view of slavery and civil rights. Only 5 years before, the Christiana massacre occurred, a case which largely divided and challenged contemporary Americans and their legal system. David R. Forbes considers this in his account of the trial, noting the newspapers emotive, impassioned presentation of the African-Americans engaged in the fray. I can't attach the snippet to support this directly, but it can be found here. Such social shifts undoubtedly effect and morph Melville's narrative and presentation of the legal proceedings in Benito Cereno. (taken from A True Story of the Christiana Riot, http://hl.handle.net/2027/hvd.32044018986661)

    3. “A prudent idea, Don Benito. You are part owner of ship and cargo, I presume; but none of the slaves, perhaps?” “I am owner of all you see,” impatiently returned Don Benito, “except the main company of blacks, who belonged to my late friend, Alexandro Aranda.”

      It is, with an air of frustration and distress, that Benito considers his lack of possession over the slaves upon the ship. Once more, contemporary references tell us the disdain with which many of Melville's readers would have read this concept of ownership and non-sentience in slaves. William Goodell writes in 1853 a critical pamphlet outlining the history of slave culture, law and treatment, ridiculing this notion (shown here and found here

    1. In Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, the young student gets, by chance, a battered textbook and finds in its handwritten additions and corrections a new magic for the classroom.5

      Yet again I'm ahead of the game by commenting upon this last week haha, it's certainly an interesting inclusion in the series to talk about marginalia. One must wonder if JK studied it in her Exeter years.

    2. works on objects the way jokes work on language, bring-ing out their inherent magic, nowhere more so than when those objects have become routinized and social, like money or the nation’s flag.”2

      I love this idea. Having the pleasure of living near some of Banksy's original graffiti works has sculpted how I view commentary and annotation is as much as it turns what is so often considered a brutal act of defacement into a beautiful, delicate and subtle social commentary

    3. The margin can become the site of contested liter-ary authority, a place for scholarly, archival, and critical interpretation. It can become, as well, the source of novelistic narrative, especially (as I suggest here) in the nineteenth century, when an archival sensibility informs the fic-tional encounter with the past

      And yet in the education system (at least, to my experience) we are encouraged to refrain from book annotation until we are in our early teens, lest the novel be corrupted by our vicious imaginations. Adults spend so much time envying and punishing childlike imagination and then question why the younger generations turn to phones, start acting like adults and become increasingly disenfranchised from their natural ability to create.

    4. Is the book in a child’s hand to be likened to a volume in a dog’s mouth? An exhibition such as this one tells us little about what children actually do to books, but it says a great deal about what adults think those children do

      I once lovingly drew the queen of hearts in my mum's copy of Alice's Adventures in Wonderland in lipstick. She didn't appreciate the gesture...

    5. As Hermann Melville (himself an inveterate annotator) recognized in his novel Redburn, the best reading is invariably on flyleaves. The marks of an “incorrigible pupil,” the crayon sketches “of wild animals and falling-air cas-tles” are “all part and parcel of the precious book, which go to make up the sum of its treasure.”

      I've always loved the idea of books published or released in their original form - not as '1st editions' but as true original copies, typos and all. I've always wanted to look at Tolkein's notes and see his little Icelandic scribbles and the designs of the intricate settings and trinkets that fill his world.

    6. , relevance to the text, and honesty are qualities that make for, as she puts it, the “many features to admire in even very ordinary marginalia.” These are marginalia, as Jackson puts it, “I enjoy.”

      This classification of quality in marginalia is what i've been desperately seeking in the critical texts we've studied - it seems obvious but for the purposes of explaining to those who are unfamiliar with marginalia and the act of annotation (poor, unfortunate souls) it's much easier to be taken seriously when you provide strict boundaries and qualifications for what makes an annotation 'good' and what makes it an irrelevant scribble of a monkey using chopsticks.

    1. As an interesting point of reference, we have several examples of older book forms at Hunter's Library - @jallred if you haven't checked them out already, there's manuscripts from up to 600 years ago, as far as I know!

    2. I love that game narrative is now considered as literature. Some beautiful stories arise from games - point and case in The Last of Us

    3. Can't highlight for some reason, but I like the idea of the desperate need to connect the e-book to previous modes instead of understanding it as independent - bearing in mind that bound novels as we know them are still relatively knew. I'm sure at one stage the 'smell/sound' of scrolls seemed irreplaceable to scholars and scroll-worms alike.

    1. st month, Amazon announced what could be a landmark in electronic marginalia: public note sharing for the Kindle — Coleridgean fantasy software that will make your friends’ notes appear (if you want them to) directly on your own books. This is exciting but still a few leaps away from my ultimate fantasy of e-marginalia: the ability to import not just your friends’ notes but notes from all of history’s most interesting book markers. Imagine reading, say, “Adventures of Huckleberry Finn” and touching a virtual button so that — ping! — Ernest Hemingway’s marginalia instantly appears, or Ralph Ellison’s, or Mary McCarthy’s. Or imagine you’re reading a particularly thorny passage of “Paradise Lost” and suddenly — zwang! — up pops marginalia from a few centuries of poets (Blake, Coleridge, Keats, Emerson, Eliot, Pound), with their actual handwriting superimposed on the text in front of you. (If someone’s handwriting gave you trouble, you’d be able to toggle between script and print.) You could even “subscribe” to your favorite critic’s marginalia — get, say, one thoroughly marked-up digital book every month. Or, if you preferred to keep it contemporary, you could just read along with your friends in an endless virtual book club — their notes and your notes would show up on one another’s e-readers the moment they were made.

      I got tragically excited whilst reading this segment. I have always loved reading things like letters or notes written by authors during/after the composition of their great works as it can say so much about what they would change, or never would, or reflect upon.

    2. people would mark up books for one another as gifts, or give pointedly annotated novels to potential lovers.

      I love this idea. Reading a strangers annotations on second-hand books can often be highly illuminating - and funny - too.

    3. Books have become my journals,

      I so rarely write in notepads anymore, primarily because they turned into mental scrapyards for the scribbles and abstractions of my mind. So with the stimulus of text, that scrapyard is kinda refined, like having a crane to pick out the good (or semi-ok) thoughts and then polish them off. Even moreso is this done online, honestly, through hypothes.is/social media as my thoughts are outlined so much more eloquently laid out

    4. a way to not just passively read but to fully enter a text, to collaborate with it, to mingle with an author on some kind of primary textual plane.

      becomes strange when you annotate something that the author will inevitably see (@Jallred), because there is a certain security in private annotation

    1. networked writing spaces

      in light of the triggering hashtag scandal that's risen in the last few days, one must wonder about the safety of the internet and the communications it allows.

    2. Facebook updates

      Especially with the increase in "reactability" on facebook now - still no dislike button though!

    1. The aspect of the novel which we have discussed so far is the narrator’s continual endeavor to stimulate the reader’s mind through extensive commentaries on the actions of the characters.

      This again reminds me of Calvino - so little is focussed on the actions of others and more so on the interactions between the narrator - you - and so a really unique discourse is formed. It almost self-annotates, especially in the preface in which Calvino seems to almost magically know exactly what you are doing, and in an attempt to change the discourse of the book, you rebel against it. It's almost an act of physical annotation, in my mind, because you're interacting with the book in a whole new dimension. Might be getting to hyped about the word annotation though...

    2. Vanity Fair has as the subtitle, A Novel without a Hero, which indicates that the characters are not regarded as representing an ideal, exemplary form of human conduct, as established by the conventions of the eighteenth-century novel. Instead, the reader’s interest is divided between two figures who, despite the contrast in their behavior, can under no circumstances be regarded as complementary or even corrective.

      This reminded me, perhaps obscurely, of Italo Calvino's If On A Winter's Night A Traveller - the real 'narrator' of the story, be that you or the unnamed 'protagonist', isn't really a hero, he is almost a suggester.

    3. The first stage in our discussion must be to modify the term ‘author’. We should distinguish, as Wayne Booth does in his Rhetoric of Fiction , between the man who writes the book (author), the man whose attitudes shape the book (implied author), and the man who communicates directly with the reader (narrator): ‘‘The ‘implied author’ chooses, consciously or unconsciously, what we read; . . . he is the sum of his own choices. . . . This implied author is always distinct from the ‘real man’ – whatever we may take him to be – who creates a superior version of himself, a ‘second self ’, as he creates his work.’’ The narrator, of course, is not always to be identified with the implied author.

      I find this so interesting considering authors who write under a pseudonym, as well as authors who contort or abbreviate their name so as to conceal gender, ethnicity or background. We are so fascinated and obsessed in the modern age with context and meaning, and less with the experience of reading. I often wonder if online texts which don't include biographies of authors or do not make their names so apparent directly affect our readings of their novels.

    4. And so the novel as a form in the eighteenth century is shaped by the dialogue that the author wishes to conduct with his reader. This simulated relationship gives the reader the impression that he and the author are partners in discovering the reality of human experience. In this reader-oriented presentation of the world, one can see an historical reflection of the period when the possibility of a priori knowledge was refuted, leaving fiction as the only means of supplying the insight into human nature denied by empirical philosophy.

      Another reason I find Defoe's work so interesting. I won't pretend Robinson Crusoe was an easy nor enjoyable read, but upon reflection I find his discourse and fictional discussion with the reader interesting - by "lying" to them and creating what is considered the earliest fictional novel, can we consider the relationship between the contemporary reader as at all similar to the historic readers? (Slightly confusing point I suppose, it's difficult to verbalise)

    5. considered themselves not merely as the creators of their works but also as the law-makers

      I found this interesting in terms of the earliest novelist, oft-times credited as the father of the modern novel - Defoe. He really irked people by writing what presented itself as a true account of a shipwrecked man, and many discredited him as a liar and not as a novelist. At least, that's how I was taught it last year. I almost am beginning to view this kind of adaptation of real events/realistic events as a kind of annotation of real life (Thanks, Allred399)

    1. Point 6 on the quality of text

      cough cough 50 shades of Grey cough cough

    2. In particular, the tendency must be avoided to say that the work is classic, the text avant-garde.

      I had a whole 4 week topic on the nature of 'classic' last year, on what makes a 'text' classic, and our bastardisation of the word. A book can be released in 2010 and be published as a penguin 'classic' where one assumes it means an older, well loved piece.

    3. in our conception of language

      lol idk wth u r talkin abt

      (couldn't resist)

  5. www.jstor.org.proxy.wexler.hunter.cuny.edu www.jstor.org.proxy.wexler.hunter.cuny.edu
    1. Drexel’s third class of notes (historicaorexempla) comprises anecdotesof human behavior taken from human history of all places and periods.Drexel notes that the historical passages may be “noted briefly or describedin their entirety,” but he does not call for a distinction to be made betweenan exact quotation and a summary or paraphrase

      One must wonder how many faults and holes in the narrative of history are caused by faulty annotation or citation... d'oh.

    2. Finally, Drexel explains how to index one’s notes.

      Or, colour coded sticky notes. Yay!

    3. florilegium

      had to google this, and so for future/shared reference: a collection of literary extracts; an anthology.... so nothing to do with flowers.

    4. The first method, epitomeor abridgment, entails summarizing or paraphrasing the original text or texts. These notes, generally presented in the order of the text from which they were produced, are often called adversaria. The second method is to select passages of interest for their content or their style, which are copied and sorted under a thematic or topical heading to facilitate retrieval.

      I'd never even dreamed that there were names for what I had always considered semi-idle scribbling. Must we label everything?

    5. Note Taking as an Art of TransmissionAnn BlairNote taking constitutes a central but often hidden phase in the trans-mission of knowledge. Notes recorded from reading or experience typicallycontribute to one’s conversation and compositions, from which others candraw in turn in their own thinking and writing, thus perpetuating a cycleof transmission and transformation of knowledge, ideas, and experiences

      I found this interesting as an opening statement, as I have often treated notation as a private, personal thing; throughout high school I annotated in code and abbreviation for my own reference, not expecting anyone to use them or even find them of any interest.

    1. At last, puzzled to comprehend the meaning of such a knot, Captain Delano addressed the knotter:— "What are you knotting there, my man?" "The knot," was the brief reply, without looking up. [pg 182] "So it seems; but what is it for?" "For some one else to undo," muttered back the old man, plying his fingers harder than ever, the knot being now nearly completed. While Captain Delano stood watching him, suddenly the old man threw the knot towards him, saying in broken English—the first heard in the ship—something to this effect: "Undo it, cut it, quick." It was said lowly, but with such condensation of rapidity, that the long, slow words in Spanish, which had preceded and followed, almost operated as covers to the brief English between.

      The knot here given to Delano is suggested to be symbolic of a Gordian Knot (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gordian_Knot), an impossible, mythical puzzle so intricate, complex and incomprehensible that it nearly thwarts Alexander the Great. The metaphor proposed by this allusion not only harkens to the complexity of the plot and the narrative, but additionally cutting off archaic or historic ties, beginning new eras and ending the old.

    2. In the year 1799, Captain Amasa Delano, of Duxbury, in Massachusetts, commanding a large sealer and general trader, lay at anchor with a valuable cargo, in the harbor of St. Maria—a small, desert, uninhabited island toward the southern extremity of the long coast of Chili. There he had touched for water. On the second day, not long after dawn, while lying in his berth, his mate came below, informing him that a strange sail was coming into the bay. Ships were then not so plenty in those waters as now. He rose, dressed, and went on deck. The morning was one peculiar to that coast. Everything was mute and calm; everything gray. The sea, though undulated into long roods of swells, seemed fixed, and was sleeked at the surface like waved lead that has cooled and set in the smelter's mould. The sky seemed a gray surtout. Flights of troubled gray fowl, [pg 110] kith and kin with flights of troubled gray vapors among which they were mixed, skimmed low and fitfully over the waters, as swallows over meadows before storms. Shadows present, foreshadowing deeper shadows to come.

      Much like its counterpart Bartleby, The Scrivener, the protagonist is not the "focal character" (in this case, Delano), but instead the titular Benito Cereno. There are many comparisons to be drawn between the two stories on social commentary, passivity, ignorance and business, however one striking difference is in the opening tone and mystery of Benito Cereno. There is no inclination of the outcome of the story, of setting up characters or long drawn out backgrounds and the tone is entirely unclear. This perpetuates the air of conflict and the enigma surrounding Melville's opinion and outlook on slavery and racism, suggesting the idea of its corruption 100 years before the civil rights movement.

    3. "Ah, my dear friend," Don Benito once said, "at those very times when you thought me so morose and ungrateful, nay, when, as you now admit, you half thought me plotting your murder, at those very times my heart was frozen; I could not look at you, thinking of what, both on board this ship and your own, hung, from other hands, over my kind benefactor. And as God lives, Don Amasa, I know not whether desire for my own safety alone could have nerved me to that leap into your boat, had it not been for the thought that, did you, unenlightened, return to your ship, you, my best friend, with all who might be with you, stolen upon, that night, in your hammocks, would never in this world have wakened again. Do but think how you walked this deck, how you sat in this cabin, every inch of ground mined into honey-combs under you. Had I dropped the least hint, made the least [pg 266] advance towards an understanding between us, death, explosive death—yours as mine—would have ended the scene."

      Whilst I cannot find the direct quote due to short-notice and poverty, Warner Berthoff has likened the multiplicity of layers and understanding in Benito Cereno to a Riddle - one must hear/read it twice, having learned or determined the answer, to spot the clues and suggestions that lead them there.

    4. As for the black—whose brain, not body, had schemed and led the revolt, with the plot—his slight frame, inadequate to that which it held, had at once yielded to the superior muscular strength of his captor, in the boat. Seeing all was over, he uttered no sound, and could not be forced to. His aspect seemed to say, since I cannot do deeds, I will not speak words.

      This finalises in the eyes of Cereno, Delano and indeed the reader the power and prowess of Babo over his white counterparts. His brain and abilities clearly supersede his physical 'limitations' (for lack of a better word) and his ethnicity. His final choice, his refusal to speak, finally shows his possession over his own body, contrary to his prior position as a slave. Whether or not this is Melville's attempt to justify and empower somewhat positively the rebellion and identity of the slaves or a technique to emphasise how formidable Babo is as a villain, is unclear, and remains to be seen, even today.

    5. Benito Cereno, borne on the bier, did, indeed, follow his leader.

      Despite the connotations and easy assumption that this ending means that Cereno followed Aranda into death, with him being his ranking leader, the heavy weighting on the control Babo has over Cereno in addition to the proximity of their deaths suggests a duality in Cereno's existence - he is, by all intensive purposes, a servant to two masters.

  6. Feb 2016
    1. hey can engage in rich, detailed interpretive discussion in the margins of a text, and they can connect these discussions to their broader social presence online — for example, by "liking" a marginal comment on Facebook. As Stein points out in his blogpost, the "emerging class of applications" to which SocialBook and other platforms collected here belong might be called ‘[collaborative] thinking processors’ as opposed to reading environments or word processors. The stronger the social ties in a platform for collaborative annotation, the greater the likelihood that a class moves from conversation to a genuine sense of community.

      With the recent increase of reactions and emoji functions on Facebook statuses, I think it's so crucial to remember the worth of such simple interactions as part of the online authorial process

    2. Jonathan Burton’s assignment uses social annotation to sharpen students’ close reading skills and to teach collaboration. Working in teams, students select passages from the assigned reading that they consider "rich in figurative language, curious in form or otherwise abundant in detail," transcribe them in Google docs, and annotate them. In a second round, they respond to some of their classmates’ annotations. Finally, students draw on their annotated transcriptions to produce brief "problem papers." This assignment takes advantage of a simple digital tool with a very shallow learning curve to move students past the "solitary-reader-meets-text" model of textual analysis and scaffold their development of a more comprehensive argument. It can be easily adapted to any text.

      I remember my sheer amazement when I first used GoogleDocs and showed it to my friends with whom I was doing a group project. I swear by it now, using it over Word.

    3. . Both kinds of assignment build community, empower students to speak, and underscore the inherently collective nature of creativity and interpretation.

      I certainly have found throughout my life, growth and educational journey that with the increase of social media enabling young people to have more of a voice in the socio-economical fields, academically there are more organic comments made, and less fearfulness when it comes to questioning and critiquing authors.

    4. instantly across space and time, connecting not only with texts but with one another inside texts, they’re facilitating a kind of textual intimacy that traditional books don’t provide.

      Goes back to Liu - dual authorship is abundant, and is ever multiplying in layers, adding author upon author.

    5. "I contend, quite bluntly, that marking up a book is not an act of mutilation but of love."

      In as much as to break a spine, fold a page, spill coffee or scuff the cover is.

    1. Scalar is a more comprehensive multimodal publishing platform, but is still very much rooted in Bush’s and Engelbardt’s vision of annotation. The Scalar project aims to “enabl[e] scholars to work more organically with archival materials, creating interpretive pathways through the materials and enabling new forms of analysis. In particular, we aim to draw out more general lessons about the relationship of scholarly analysis to emerging digital typologies or genres; about how best to organize the digital archive to facilitate scholarly analysis; and about efficient and meaningful work flows between primary evidence, research and publication.”[14] Indeed, Scalar’s Annotations feature allows the direct markup of video, images, and more–essentially anything that can be captured in a digital repository. The best way to come to grips with Scalar’s classroom potential is by working through this Scalar exhibit on “Teaching and Learning Multimodal Communications”.[15]

      I know so many students that can't afford to buy a full textbook and resort to using sticky notes to annotate so as to not deface rental books. Online resources unsullied by physical annotations eradicate so many issues with physical copies, rented or otherwise. It's a shame that the reluctance to use them is so writhe in education.

    2. or even meme generators and GIF tools.[11]

      hadn't thought about this in terms of annotations, but I suppose to caption something is another form of annotation.

    3. In addition to making student writing public, I’ve also begun taking the words out of writing. Why must writing, especially writing that captures critical thinking, be composed of words? Why not images? Why not sound? Why not objects? The word text, after all, derives from the Latin textus, meaning that which is woven, strands of different material intertwined together. Let the warp be words and the weft be something else entirely.

      This is very interesting in terms of the audiobook produced by Kate, Shadika, Niurkalis, and Ari. So impressed by the innovation there, restricted only by the realms of funding and college. I would love to see a full-scale project based on their ingenuity. Props to you guys again!

    4. But there are other forms, too. Adrianne Wadewitz, Anne Ellen Geller, and Jon Beasley-Murray have described the ways in which having students write for Wikipedia, which demands citations, turns into a remarkably reflexive process of research, writing, and revision.[9] Although many academics (still!) reflexively mistrust Wikipedia’s flexible epistemology, exposing students to the process of needing to document all claims can be helpful.

      I've actually had full arguments about this - even J-STOR is rife with student-written, unfounded and bias articles that ill-inform students when referencing them. Wikipedia provides basic, reliable and easy information, and at the very least should be used for common knowledge facts and profiles. But that's just my lazy student opinion.

    5. As Engelbart’s example makes clear, the work of annotation is already a thing all students and scholars do: we work over other people’s texts in order to better understand it. Being able to draw on the experiences of others is also surely helpful.

      I'm always so bemused at people who don't annotate. Even if it's just one word, reminding yourself of a response/interpretation of a passage or even a sentence can be vital to understanding a novel/text.

    6. There is a new profession of trail blazers, those who find delight in the task of establishing useful trails through the enormous mass of the common record. The inheritance from the master becomes, not only his additions to the world’s record, but for his disciples the entire scaffolding by which they were erected.

      Very meta to think about books about annotating in books. Perhaps a stretch, but take the "Half Blood Prince" of the HP series - goes to show the extensiveness of the universe of annotations.

    7. Annotation is of course far older than the web. For as long as there has been writing, there have been readers who follow along and “write back.” Medieval marginalia is so well-known that amusing or disconcerting instances of it are fodder for viral aggregators such as Buzzfeed and Brainpickings, and the fascination with other readers’ reading is manifest in sites such as Melville’s Marginalia Online or Harvard’s online exhibit of marginalia from six personal libraries.[2] When I was a graduate student, one of my favorite moments was visiting the collections at UC Santa Cruz, and looking at Thomas Carlyle’s alternatively-metered edition of Robert Browning’s poems. What has become distinctive now is the extreme rapidity of searching one’s own marginalia, as well the ability to see how others read. For these purposes, the web has proved ideal.

      So funny that this is mentioned here, I was reading a monk's complaints about the quality of parchment in a margin just the other day!

    1. One advantage to using the phonograph as a reading machine was its accessibility to both sighted and blind readerships. Tactile alphabets for people with vision impairments required training, whereas anyone could listen to a book. This was an appealing prospect to people who were newly blind as well as to readers who merely feared endangering their eyesight from overuse. Such readers welcomed the phonograph as a means of relieving the disproportionate burden borne by the eyes. The strain placed on the eyes by reading books was commonly held to be responsible for deteriorating eyesight—Milton was often invoked as a cautionary tale. Engineers likewise recognized the phonograph’s potential to aid blind readers who were unable to read Braille. In March 1878 Alfred Mayer, a physics professor writing [End Page 221] a textbook on sound, corresponded with Edison about a portable device for reading books to those who were blind. The blind reader would drag Mayer’s handheld unit, made up of a stylus attached to a vibrating plate, over indented lines in a metal sheet so that “the page will talk to him.”22

      This serves only to further my interest in this idea of sensory experiences of literature. Obviously braille is now widely used on public transport, food packaging, books and in residential apartment buildings, but this vibrating sheet idea advances even moreso on this idea of touch and literature.

    2. No recordings were made of the exhibitions, unfortunately, but press reports enable us to reconstruct the sequence of events at many of them.4 A typical demonstration began with an explanation of how the machine worked, followed by displays of recording and playback (Figure 1). The program opened with a greeting from the phonograph (“The phonograph presents its compliments to the audience”) before moving on to some combination of recitations, songs, music, and random noises. Members of the audience were then invited to speak their own effusions into the phonograph, and the exhibitor sometimes brought the evening to a close by handing out torn-off slips of tinfoil as souvenirs. At nearly all of the demonstrations, the spoken word played a prominent role in showcasing recorded sound to audiences who had never before heard speech mechanically reproduced. Historians are only telling half the story when they describe the talking machine as if it were a singing machine.5 Recent scholarship has begun to correct this imbalance by showing how the discourse of recorded sound developed in relation to print media.6

      It's so interesting to me to physically imagine an aural event as a dually visual one, that we then can only experience through reading. The multitude of layers that go into documenting fact and fiction in life should mean that the relationship between aural, oral and literary experiences should be closer, however there is constantly this dichotomy between sensory experiences and classicism.

    1. Audiobooks also impose a certain discipline. I think of this as real-time reading: The author and narrator control your pace, and it is impractical to skim ahead or thumb back to another section.

      THIS. This is why I think audiobooks can revolutionise reading, especially for those impatient and learning impaired like myself. It's so important to remember that regardless of your position in regards to audiobooks and literature that not everyone agrees. Reading can be the simplest joy, but you have to know how to listen too.

    2. I downloaded an audiobook edition of Little Dorrit, hoping for one of those magical theatrical experiences that occur when a great narrator is matched with the right book, say, Jim Dale and the Harry Potter novels, or Frank Muller reading anything. I have loved audiobooks since the days of the Sony Walkman and my short career as a long-distance runner. Back then, each audiocassette held about 60 minutes, which might not last long enough for a training run, so I carried the next ones in a small pouch around my waist. They made a constant clacking sound as I jogged around Central Park or wherever I happened to be. On business trips, I would bring along a dozen cassettes or more. Even after I finished my first and only marathon, I remained an audiobook enthusiast.

      I like the sense of personal nostalgia here. I personally don't have the vinyl/walkman experience so it's nice hearing about the functionality, reality and sensory experience of listening to early-days audiobooks.

    3. Do I love books or do I love reading?

      Ah, the endless dichotomy. I certainly feel that more classicists need to ask themselves this - regardless of the answer, it reminds people of the distinct joy of each.

    1. Familiar though his name may be to us, the storyteller in his living immediacy is by no means a present force. He has already become something remote from us and something that is getting even more distant

      This captured me so instantly. The conflict between this concept and the modern author is so apparent, for now the storyteller is subject to dual authorship when interacting online. They shall always be separate in their originality, but the academic and the author are growing ever closer to our consciousness, if not our physicallity

    1. Now that Nancy’s murder has caught your ear, let me assure you that this is not another account from an ear-witness to one of the nearly 500 public readings given by Dickens to audiences across England and America.

      Does anyone else feel great conflict and disorientation at envisioning listening to Nancy's murder by reading to someone writing about listening to it?

    2. However, with a physical, action-driven scene such as this, it is difficult to argue that nothing is lost; on the one hand, you hear Nancy's murder and are forced to visualise it differently to how you may under the influence of physical representation, however someone who is not entirely focussed, imaginative or even experienced with the text may struggle in a way they would not with visual prompts, be they textual or physical

    3. Having both seen and read this scene in a variety of platforms, I concur, however importance is also to be placed on the reader themselves, the format in which they read the piece as well as the actors, set and production of the visual-audio performance.

    1. collaborative-work-space sites like Google Docs.

      This, for me, is one of the most critical developments in online production. In time, if not already, this function negates the necessity for lengthly chains of e-mails exchanging drafts and edits, and could drastically speed and expand the production of literature.

    2. than Web 1.5 (as I call it for lack of a better designation) quietly supervened. After the Internet data backbone went commercial in 1995,

      as juvenile as this may be, I do question the transition of 1 > 1.5 > 2? what about the progression suggests increments of half-change? Yes, 2 is entirely different to 1, but what dictates that 1.5 is merely a mid-point between the two? In it's own right, Web 1.5 was revolutionary, as it coincided with the early stages of frequent domestic use (at least, in my household and knowledge!)

    3. p

      I find this interesting in terms of pop culture, as it forces one to consider when posting something online if/how they would present this idea in a physical setting? The 21st century 'social computing' is essentially characterized by the abundance of keyboard warriors, renowned for their assumed inability to convey such ideas publicly. But, do they add or subtract from the co-authorship community in this sense?