Title Writing under the Magnifying Glass. Encoding the Text in Progress

Encoded by   Vanessa Hannesschläger

Encoded by   Daniel Schopper


The Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0) License applies to this text.


Iser1 draws attention to the dual nature of text, determined by its actual structure and the reader’s involvement supplying what is not there. This involvement implies an "active interweaving of anticipation and retrospection" and depends on the boundaries imposed by the written versus unwritten text and on the "virtual dimension of the text" , nor the text itself or the reader’s imagination, but the "coming together of text and imagination" 2. In his reflections on photography, Barthes3 defines a similar dynamics, that of the "unspeakable which wants to be spoken" , manifested through the "punctum" , often a detail which triggers the spectator’s subjectivity, resulting in something added to the photograph, an addition of "what is nonetheless already there" 4.

The present study proposes a view on the coming together of text and imagination, anticipation and retrospection, written and unwritten, unspeakable wanting to be spoken, from a different perspective: that of the text in progress, in its gradual development during the process of writing. The proposal is centered on a textual model (z-text) and interface (z-editor)5 allowing to keep trace of the evolving text and to explore it "under the magnifying glass" by zoom-in and zoom-out (z-reading). Z-text writing (z-writing) consists of the expansion of already written fragments (z-lexias) by gradually adding new details to them. The model is based on TEI encoding, to each level (phase of development) corresponding an XML-TEI file. The z-lexias are marked-up by anchor elements and identifiers recording the ancestors-descendants relationships engendered in the process. The paper will discuss the textual model / interface and further ways of analysis / visualization / transformation potentially supported by the encoding, inspired by concepts and studies such as genetic graphs6 or informational entropy7 applied to linguistic analysis8.


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