In fourteen thoughtful essays this book reports and reflects on the many
changes that a digital workflow brings to the world of original texts and
textual scholarship, and the effect on scholarly communication practices.
The spread of digital technology across philology, linguistics and literary
studies suggests that text scholarship is taking on a more laboratory-like
image. The ability to sort, quantify, reproduce and report text through
computation would seem to facilitate the exploration of text as another
type of quantitative scientific data. However, developing this potential
also highlights text analysis and text interpretation as two increasingly
separated sub-tasks in the study of texts. The implied dual nature of
interpretation as the traditional, valued mode of scholarly text
comparison, combined with an increasingly widespread reliance on digital
text analysis as scientific mode of inquiry raises the question as to
whether the reflexive concepts that are central to interpretation –
individualism, subjectivity – are affected by the anonymised, normative
assumptions implied by formal categorisations of text as digital data.