- The 'dynamic' edition: Key Concepts
- Understanding 'dynamic' text
- Using the dynamic edition
The Declaration of Arbroath
- Methodology for the new edition of the Declaration of Arbroath
- The manuscripts of the Declaration
- Translating the Declaration of Arbroath
A model of a dynamic edition of Regiam maiestatem
- Historical Introduction
- Description of the manuscripts
- Translating Regiam
- 'Dynamic' Symbols: An Aide-Memoire
- How to Cite
This page explains how to read and interpret the edition's work-text view, with particular focus on how it represents settled and unsettled text. These guidelines apply to both works.
What is work-text?
Work-text is a transcription of all the 'settled text', determined from comparing all the version-texts of the work. Like the concept of a version-text, the work-text is an entirely artificial creation. It does not represent any known manuscript-text or version-text nor does it prefer the readings of one or a group of manuscripts over the other.
A work-text is a transcription of all groups of abstracted graphemes which are identical or stable across all the manuscripts which make up the particular version. A work text is based on the settled text derived from all the version-texts.
Unsettled text is not transcribed in a work-text. Instead, the area of unsettled test is denoted by circle plus symbol (⊕). The circle-plus symbol can be expanded so that the user can view the graphic information in that location which is present in each version-text. Thus, an area of unsettled text in the work-view can contain settled text embedded within it which is supplied from the version. This will be explained below.
Unlike version-text and manuscript-text, a dynamic edition will only ever have one work-text.
The work text is represented by a 'W', followed by the name of the work (in this case W: Declaration).
How are settled and unsettled text defined in work-text?
When you enter work-text view, you will see that some text has been replaced by a circle-plus symbol (⊕) and highlighted in light brown. This denotes an area of unsettled text.
Unsettled text appears in the work-text in only one way:
- As a symbol (⊕), denoting an area of unsettled text, resulting from version texts having different abstracted graphemes in that location.
Unsettled text in a work-text, therefore, has been determined at only one level:
- At the level of the work (i.e. by comparing the settled text between each of the version-texts to determine whether text which is settled at the level of the version becomes unsettled at the level of the work).
This often results in text which was settled at the level of the version becoming embedded in a region of unsettled text at the level of the work. It is this information which created the highlighted-brown text in the version-text (this denotes text which is settled in the manuscripts of this particular version, but not when compared to the manuscript-texts of other versions).
To give an example, again from that hypothetical work, 'A Day at the Computer'.
The version1-text of that work read as follows:
- "On hearing a beep, I looked ⊕ and realised to my ⊕ displeasure that the dishwasher ⊕ emptying"
If we were to hover our cursor over the circle-plus symbols, we would see how each individual manuscript-text had treated that space.
However, as discovered in the introduction to Version-text, it turned out that 'A Day at the Computer' also survived in other manuscripts which made up a manuscript-group from which another version-text could be generated. We called this imaginatively Version2.
The version2-text of the work read as follows:
- "On hearing a ⊕, I looked up and realised that the dishwasher needed emptying"
version1 and version2-texts therefore had different areas of settled and unsettled text. To create a work-text, the editor must combine the two version-texts. As a general rule, this will increase the size and, often, number of areas of unsettled text.
Thus, if we combine our version1 and version2 texts, the following work-text emerges:
- "On hearing a ⊕, I looked ⊕ and realised ⊕ that the dishwasher ⊕ emptying"
The work-text, therefore, looks like or represents neither of our version-texts (and indeed, is rather difficult to read). But facility of comprehension is not (here) the point. You are not meant to read it as immediately-comprehensible text (that is what manuscript-text is for). Instead, the work-text shows you the location of the areas where, across all version-texts generated by a work as constituted in all its manuscript witnesses, there was movement in the text.
The 'circle-plus' symbol in the work-text thus only tells you the fact of an area of unsettled text. It does not tell you anything about that area.
In order to discover more about the unsettled area, click on any circle plus symbol, and the unsettled text in that location from each version-text will be displayed.
In our hypothetical "Day at the Computer" which is definitely not based on real life, this would show two textual options. The unsettled region being expanded is represented here in bold type.
work-text: "On hearing a ⊕, I looked ⊕ and realised ⊕ that the dishwasher ⊕ emptying"
- version1-text: to my ⊕ displeasure
- version2-text: ∅
This immediately tells us that it is the manuscript-texts from version1 which have unsettled the entire work, not the manuscript-texts from version2, which does not have any text between 'realised' and 'that' (the empty-set symbol denoting absence of graphic activity in comparison with other texts of the same level). If you need a refresher on any of these symbols, click here.
By contrast, the version1-text not only has text in that region, but the presence of the circle-plus symbol shows that the manuscripts have slight different texts at this location: i.e. there is settled text embedded in the region of unsettled text at work level; and the area of unsettled text is, in version1, smaller, encompassing fewer words at version level than it is at work level.
Another way of saying this is that, for the manuscripts of version 1, the region is unsettled at both the level of the version and the work; while, for the manuscripts of version 2, the region is only unsettled at the level of the work.
If we wanted to see how the version1 texts had unsettled that area, we could click on the version1-reading, which will open the version1-text in the adjacent viewer window, where the relevant unsettled area would be highlighted. We would then click on that to see the manuscript-text.
version1-text: "On hearing a beep, I looked ⊕ and realised to my ⊕ displeasure that the dishwasher needed emptying"
- manuscript1-text: great
- manuscript2-text: ∅
Thus, again in this truly hypothetical example, we can see that version2 manuscripts record no strong feelings (positive or negative) about having to empty the dishwasher while version1 manuscripts do record some displeasure, with one manuscript showing a greater level of feeling about the subject than the other. It is up to the historian to think about what that difference may have meant.
What does work-text allow you to see?
Work-text view allows you to see the abstracted settled text generated from all surviving manuscript-texts of a particular work (in these case, the Declaration and modelled passages of Regiam), in the Latin original, and modern English translation. It thus allows you to see what text does not change regardless of which copy or rewriting of the Declaration you are looking at.
Work-text view allows you to see immediately the areas of unsettled text which have been determined by comparing all the versions of the particular version.
Work-text view displays each of the different readings from the version-texts found at that location, which will be a mixture of settled text, symbols to denote unsettled text, and symbols to denote the absence of any graphic activity.
Work-text view allows you to see immediately which parts of the work were subject to the most movement and, from the bird's eye view, allows you to engage with which versions and, from there, which manuscript-texts, are 'unsettling' the work to greater and lesser degrees.
Work-text view does not allow you to read the text of your work fluently! Manuscript-text view does that: it does, however, allow you to understand how the content of the work changes across all its versions and manuscript-texts.
For a quick aide-memoire to the use of symbols in the dynamic edition, see our 'Dynamic Symbols: An Aide-Memoire' page.