I love saying I am doing experiments. It sounds so serious, so mature, so not like writing complicated (and maybe absurd) theories on letters as paradigms for literary texts as pieces of paper that always miss their destination like I did this afternoon…
Here is what the experiment consists in, for a sober evening (with Simon and Garfunkel cheering me up though).
The aim is to figure out how legitimization mechanisms in Wikipedia biographies work. We (Christof and I) divided this one question in the following ones:
1) How much weighs scholarly reputation?
2) Is a manuscript proof worth as much as a printed source?
3) Are those legitimization mechanisms different from one country to another?
4) To what extent do those mechanisms contribute to / rely on an existing canon?
Accordingly, I will tonight work on wikipedia biographies:
1) Under my actual name and under a pseudonym;
2) With reference to manuscripts only I know, reference to obscure publications, reference to well known publications;
3) On German, French and English articles (in the three languages for each person I write a bio on);
4) On people quite well known, on people known a little bit, on people only I know (which should not be a problem thanks to my 200 entries in the index of persons)
Wish me luck! I promise to tell you how it turns out in a couple of weeks (and only to put things I know that are true on wikipedia)