Be Romantic!

Jena Romantics were not afraid of paradox. Of course, they were convinced that genius is unique – can you possibly think of a good reason why not? You take a walk in the forest with your hair open and a long coat, it is a dark and stormy night, and then, in the midst of weird shades, you have the idea for a poem (or, for that matter, a novel), you get back home in a hurry, your coat still dripping, your hair kind of stinking like a wet dog, you light a candle, and then you start writing, the whole night, and when morning comes, the work of art is there. That, my friend, is genius at work!

Or at least, when morning comes, the core of the artwork to be is there. Because, well, you know, a draft needs some additional work. It needs polishing, shortening, precising, tuning in the structure, avoiding repetitions, not changing the name of a character along time or the color of his/her hair, etc. But that is not genius. That is work.  Continue reading “Symphilology”

Another next step

As term has reached its end, I would like to provide for some orientation in the mind map that seems to have drawn itself over the past months to guide me ahead.

First, to the good news: Sabine Seifert is now working at the Fontane Archive in Potsdam and Melanie Siemund at the Academy of Sciences in Vienna, both in exciting projects with no less exciting perspectives. I really hope to host guest posts by them on this blog when time has come (project presentation, conference report and the like). This will be one step towards enlarging the Berlin focus.

Apart from that, I will be travelling a lot this fall and winter and am very much looking forward to the contacts and exchanges of ideas in Germany, France, Austria and the UK. It always does good to one’s research to be shaken a bit by perspectives from the outside. The reasons for me travelling  are: editions (and, yes, digital editions, a lot), textual scholarship, the concept of “the intellectual”, my favorite authors, DH in general. All very good reasons to leave my home desk, really. Continue reading “Another next step”

On the ethics of self-plagiarism (how to roll your stone)

Imagine that you would be copy-editing a volume or a thematic issue of a journal. Imagine that there would be somewhere an incomplete footnote, a missing bibliographical element, and you would google the quote to get the exact reference. Imagine that you would then see that the paper you are copy-editing is a series of copy-pasted passages of papers or books that the author has already published, some of them years ago. What would you do? And what would you think? Continue reading “On the ethics of self-plagiarism (how to roll your stone)”