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7 December 2022 - 7 December 2022

5:30PM - 7:00PM

Online and Elvet Riverside 155

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All are welcome to our next Inventions of the Text seminar, which takes place both in person and online.

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An Inventions of the Text seminar

Annotating literature is always tricky, but annotating Ulysses is a minefield. Any attempt to assist the reader on the journey through the labyrinthine work will have to navigate between the editorial equivalent of Scylla and Charybdis. On the one hand, you need to annotate a lot, because the text contains a mass of names, quotes, historical facts, local conditions, contemporary culture, etc. that are not or no longer familiar to the reader; on the other hand, readers are supposed to go on a journey into unknown territory, face the challenges of the text and be allowed to make their own discoveries, an experience which could be disturbed or disrupted by the paratextual information. In addition, not all the necessary knowledge is, actually accessible any longer, and while the internet is wonderful for the retrieval of all kinds of material, it is occasionally not possible to find adequate or trustworthy sources or to decide between conflicting data. And, invariably, mistakes sneak in, sometimes even embarrassing mistakes. Thus, reviews criticise the annotations for annotating too much, not enough, or giving flawed information, sometimes all of the above.

In this talk, Professor Dirk Vanderbeke will look at these issues from the first-hand perspective on an annotator from his experience annotating the German translation of Ulysses in celebration of the Bloomsday centenary in 2004, along with three colleagues.