Migrating the New: Text and Document in Ulysses

The three-volume Ulysses: A Critical and Synoptic Edition presented to Stephen Joyce at the Frankfurt James Joyce Symposium in 1984 was a print output of a larger digital enterprise. Among the earliest editions to enlist the systematic aid of the computer in the storage and collation processes, the 1984 Ulysses (rev. 1986) represents a pioneering effort in digital scholarly editing. Its aim was nothing less than the reconstruction of ‘Ulysses as Joyce wrote it’.

Initially developed in tustep by the Munich team of Hans Walter Gabler with Wolfhard Steppe, Claus Melchior and others, successive migrations since the late 1990s have seen the edition’s diachronic information converted, in the first instance, to the tei P3 sgml standard and, since 2002, to the tei xml dtd (P4 and P5). My talk will report on ongoing efforts to migrate these legacy data to current encoding standards and to develop tools that leverage and visualize the diachronic information contained therein. Issues to be addressed include (a) the detection, measurement and reversal of so-called “migration loss”—degradation of genetic information over the course of several major conversions; (b) the commensurability of documentary editing with the inter-document alteration favored in Gabler’s synoptic presentation; and (c) the stakes of producing a tei P5 version of the Critical and Synoptic Edition with all the constraints imposed by a legacy version of tustep over now re-encoding the documents of Ulysses in composition and transmission.

Ronan Crowley is FWO Pegasus Marie Curie Fellow at the Centre for Manuscript Genetics, University of Antwerp, in Belgium. He received his PhD in English from the University at Buffalo in 2014 for a dissertation on transatlantic copyright regimes, genetic criticism and Irish modernism. From 2014–2016 he was Alexander von Humboldt Postdoctoral Research Fellow at the University of Passau. He is the editor, with Dirk Van Hulle, of New Quotatoes: Joycean Exogenesis in the Digital Age (Brill Rodopi, 2016).