Hypertext Scholarly Editing Assignment
English 491A: Echo, Riposte, Renewal
Whitman College, Fall 2017
Theresa M. DiPasquale
Molly Cameron's Edition of "Ippopotamo" by Daisy Fried
Megan Hearst's Edition of "Three Bouquets" by Kimberly Johnson
Harper Howard's Edition of "Blackacre" (part 7: "Denied") by Monica Youn
Esther Ra's Edition of "Unholy Sonnet 4" by Mark Jarman
The Course and the Assignment
Poets respond to other poets; in doing so, they may echo, affirm, revise, contradict, rework, appropriate, or revive texts written centuries before their own. In this seminar, we will read works in verse and prose by two seventeenth-century poets--John Donne and John Milton--and by a range of twentieth- and twenty-first century American poets whose writings engage with or recall them. We will immerse ourselves both in the texts themselves and in selected criticism and theory that will help us to appreciate the workings of influence, intertextuality, and poetic appropriation across divisions of time, gender, race, and belief. The syllabus includes poetry and prose by John Donne and John Milton; poetry and prose by contemporary poets including Jericho Brown, Daisy Fried, Mark Jarman, Kimberly Johnson, and Monica Youn; and texts on the theory of intertextuality.
The Theory of Intertextuality as Framework for the Course
"Any text is constructed of a mosaic of quotations; any text is the absorption and transformation of another."
"Any text is a new tissue of past citations. Bits of code, formulae, rhythmic models, fragments of social languages, etc., pass into the text and are redistributed within it, for there is always language before and around the text."
"Hypertext, which is a fundamentally intertextual system, has the capacity
to emphasize intertextuality in a way that page-bound
in books cannot. . . . What is perhaps most interesting about hypertext, though, is not that it may fulfill certain claims of structuralist
and poststructuralist criticism but that it provides a rich means of testing them."
--George P. Landow
Goals of the Assignment
(1) To learn a bit about the process of scholarly editing.
(2) To put the theory of intertextuality to work in the service of a user-friendly interactive edition that makes use of hypertext links, both
within the text of the poem itself and in substantive notes.
(3) To study in detail the words, images, allusions, intertextual features, form, and other aspects of a 21st-century poem from the syllabus.