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Silvestre- The LdoD project

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Osvaldo Manuel Silvestre (Coimbra University, Portugal)
Constructing a digital archive of Fernando Pessoa’s Livro do Desassossego [LdoD]: an impossible project?

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Silvestre- The LdoD project

  1. 1. The LdoD Archive Advanced Studies in the Materialities of Literature Osvaldo Manuel Silvestre (School of Arts and Humanities, Coimbra University)
  2. 2. The Materialities of Literature •  Ph. D. Program ‘Advanced Studies in the The Materialities of Literature’ •  MATLIT •  Digital Literary Studies. International Conference. Coimbra 2015 •  Vox Media. Sound in Literature •  Project LdoD
  3. 3. Fernando Pessoa 1888-1935 (Lisbon) 1895-1905: lives in South Africa (Durban) March 8, 1914: Pessoa’s “day of triumph” (the day the heteronyms appeared before him) 1915: Orpheu (2 issues) 1934: Mensagem, nationalist poem, only book published during his life January 13, 1935: letter to Adolfo Casais Monteiro, on the “genesis of the heteronyms”
  4. 4. The Book of Disquiet •  An unfinished book project (or a project without an end?) •  Written between 1913 and 1934 •  More than 500 pieces of text •  Some of the pieces are several pages long but most fragments are brief texts consisting of a few paragraphs •  Pieces typed or handwritten on loose sheets and also scattered across various notebooks •  Pessoa drafted a preface for the book and left several fragmentary plans for organizing the work •  However, there is no final authorial revision, selection, or ordering of the pieces
  5. 5. Publishing The Book of Disquiet •  1982: Jacinto do Prado Coelho, with Maria Aliete Galhoz and Teresa Sobral Cunha, publishes the editio princeps. •  520 numbered pieces in 2 volumes •  The edition is organized according to thematic clusters •  Respects Pessoa’s ortography •  The book is attibuted to Pessoa’s semi-heteronym Bernardo Soares
  6. 6. •  1990-1991: Teresa Sobral Cunha publishes the second edition •  724 unnumbered texts in 2 volumes •  Modernizes Pessoa’s ortography •  Texts arranged chronologically •  Texts attributed to heteronyms Vicente Guedes and Bernardo Soares
  7. 7. •  1998: Richard Zenith publishes the third edition •  533 numbered pieces •  Modernizes Pessoa’s ortography •  Texts organized according to a combination of thematic and chronological criteria •  Texts attributed to Bernardo Soares
  8. 8. •  2010: Jerónimo Pizarro publishes the fourth edition •  Critical and genetic edition •  Respects Pessoa’s ortography •  586 chronologically arranged and numbered texts and fragments •  Book assigned to Fernando Pessoa
  9. 9. Re-publishing The Book of Disquiet •  With the exception of the first edition (reprinted without changes in 1997, after Jacinto do Prado Coelho’s death), the remaining three editions have not yet stabilized. •  Teresa Sobral Cunha published 4 editions (1990-91, 1997, 2008, 2013). •  Richard Zenith published 12 editions, between 1998 and 2015. •  Jerónimo Pizarro published 3 editions (2010, 2013, 2014). •  For the past 25 years, critical editors have not managed to publish the work twice under the same textual form. •  Every reprint becomes an opportunity for introducing further changes and revisions: new readings of particular passages, additional fragments included (and others excluded), fragments are fused or divided, and a few pieces change place.
  10. 10. The path to the LdoD Archive: Pessoa = Trunk [Treasure Chest] = Archive = Digital
  11. 11. The LdoD Project Abstract (cf. application, February 23, 2011) “No Problem Has a Solution: A Digital Archive of the Book of Disquiet” aims to produce a hypermedia digital edition and archive dedicated to the Livro do Desassossego (LdoD), by Bernardo Soares/Fernando Pessoa. This archive will aggregate digital facsimiles of all the documentary material of LdoD, diplomatic transcriptions of these materials, a concordance table of the major Portuguese editions published between 1982 and 2010, and also tools for search and textual analysis. Our goal is to combine a genetic edition with a social edition of LdoD, showing LdoD both as a network of potential authorial intentions and as a conjectural construction of its successive editors. This digital edition and archive will attempt to represent the dynamics of the acts of writing and editing in the production and reproduction of LdoD. The three main objectives of the digital edition/archive are:  (a) representing the dynamics of the acts of writing and editing in the production of LdoD;  (b) exploring the potential of digital media to recreate the history of that dynamic; and  (c) creating a space for virtualizing the LdoD that encourages new dynamics of reading, editing, and researching in the encounter between readers and this corpus of fragmentary written materials. 
  12. 12. The second component of the project, “No Problem Has a Solution: Concepts and Forms of Writing and the Book in the Modernist Imagination”, aims to analyse historical and theoretical concepts and forms of writing and the book in modernist practices. It will take as its starting point ideas about writing and the book in the LdoD itself. The possibility and impossibility of the book will be examined in modernist discourses and practices, and throughout the twentieth century, within a transcultural and translinguistic context. On the one hand, we will analyse works that take the typographic materiality of the book as the horizon for acts of writing; on the other hand, we will analyse works in which writing calls into question the discursive and conceptual limits of the book, focusing instead on an open processuality of the act of writing which results in dispersal, fragmentariness, and incompleteness.
  13. 13. The LdoD Digital Archive today The construction of the LdoD Digital Archive attempts to answer the following reserch questions: 1)  Can we use a Web 2.0 environment to produce a digital archive that integrates a genetic with a social editing approach? 2)  Is it possible to structure and encode genetic and editorial witnesses for dynamic interactions that feedback into the contents and structure of the archive itself? 3)  As we remediate and simulate writing and bibliographic processes in the construction of LdoD, can we rethink the relations between acts of writing and forms of the book as they are imagined and performed in our writing and editing practices? 4)  By virtualizing editing and witing operations, can we remodel the archive as a space por autopoiesis and allopoiesis, i.e. as an exploratory space for multiple remakings rather than a fixed, immutable, and authorized repository?
  14. 14. LdoDArchive facsimiles [document] transcriptions [text] editions[book] JPC edition TSC edition RZ edition JP edition LdoD edition Virtual edition n
  15. 15. virtual dimension: the construction of LdoD by readers reader - functi on editor- functi on book- functi on author - functi on
  16. 16. The LdoD Archive

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