Thoughts about Writing in a Digital Environment

I just finished a chapter from a very inspiring book: L’humanista digitale, Teresa Numerico, Domenico Fiormonte and Francesca Tomasi (eds.). Further details about the book can be found on the blog of Monica Berti, where I actually got the information about it.
I started to read the part entitled Scrivere e produre because it was closest to the work I am doing in my project on Demetrios of Scepsis. Indeed much there is about producing a text or, let’s say, several texts, with all the stages of its composition including the documentation preceding as well as the modifications, additions and corrections added later on.
First the study as such, as it analyses the act of composition along other ways of using the new technologies assembled in chapters such as Rappresentare e conservare or Cercare e organizzare, defines the poetic part of the large field of digital humanities in it overall context. In order to contribute in an appropriated way to the world of digital humanities all the parts have to be taken into account even if it is no longer possible to be an expert in each if these fields.
It is the same message one gets when reading the schema of the four different texts discussed within the chapter on Scrivere e prudure (p. 78). Again when starting from the point of view of the composition of a text, we enter the schema from the first level (testo in sé) and stay focused on it for the whole process of the grammatical or rhetorical treatment of the content we would like to transmit. However as the authors of this study show this first level cannot be detached from the three others (testo-codice; testo processato; testo che (ci) scrive), even if these are fields which are rather far away from the preoccupations of an author, at least when he is focused on the act of composition.
But still it cannot be ignored, as the new technologies imply also a new way of thinking about the act of writing of a text, a document or let’s say the more delimited concept of a book (a text within a front and a back page), especially if we follow the image the authors of the study suggest, comparing the architecture of the information to a system of classification in a library (p. 98). Indeed in the context of a traditional library the act of writing, leading eventually to the creation of a book, is completely independent from the act of classifying this item in a larger repository, by either sticking a code on the back of the book or, more up-to-day, by adding a code-bare on its first or last page. In a digital library this devices, leading to a specific book in a huge repository, are found within the document itself and are fixed on the very elements of the text. So it seems that they became part of the concerns of an author if he wants to use all the possibilities of these new technologies.

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