Category: Non classé


Families, I do not hate you

For the third time since I started the project “Berlin intellectuals 1800-1830”, great luck has come to me from descendants’ families. Unexpectedly, material turns out to be recoverable. Letters – answers to other letters we have edited in Letters and Texts – happen not to be lost after all. They are in a box, the box in a cabinet, the cabinet in the home of an elderly lady. And they have been there at least since the first edition (a censored edition, of course) was realised in the 1930s. The moment when you get a phone call at your office with someone...


Peer review says “bof”

There are some words that are hard to translate in every language. Giving a sense of the French “bof” is one of these tricky cases. Basically, it means something close to “so-so”, but it is better impersonated by the Comics figure of Achille Talon (there is a section of the English wikipedia article on Achille Talon dealing with his favourite quotes that tries to grasp the essence of “bof” as well). “Bof” is an attitude of indifference, disdain, not wanting to acknowledge reality. And “bof” has to do with the data journals session at the Prague DARIAH HaS Winter School I taught yesterday....


The de facto standard

There is this hate/love affaire between DH and the TEI, which seems to me to be best expressed in the way DH scholars call the TEI the “de facto standard”. It’s not the standard you’d wish, but it is recommended, especially by the funding agencies who give money to DH projects. Also, it works, you can actually do things with the TEI that won’t disappear tomorrow. Of course, it is sooo heavy machinery compared to the time and funding you actually get from the funding agencies. But bummer. De facto, it is the standard. 


On St John’s Day

There is writing and there is making readable. The difference between both is about the time that elapsed since my last post, in which I fine-tuned the main part of the habilitation document, added bibliographical references, wrote conclusion and introduction, added illustrations, etc. Last week, at long last, I could hand it over  to the institution where I hope to be able to defend it in December. The end of this effort left me surprised, ajar, almost taken aback. I spent a week wanting to walk and think and do nothing else (needless to say, there were things to do...