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SUDA  January 1998, Week 4

SUDA January 1998, Week 4

Subject:

Organization, etc.

From:

"Patrick T. Rourke" <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

e-suda byzantine lexicography project <[log in to unmask]>

Date:

Thu, 22 Jan 1998 21:15:27 -0800

Content-Type:

text/plain

Parts/Attachments:

Parts/Attachments

text/plain (56 lines)

While I think the technical issues are worth discussing, for now I think
it should be ok for prospective translators to get started on whatever
they want to do now, and for the editorial committee to fill in the gaps
as they start to become clear next week by asking each volunteer if she
or he wouldd mind taking a certain group of lemmata.

While obviously it would be nice to assign the tasks by expertise, there
are a few problems with that idea.  The first is the glut of tragedy
scholars.  To take the three who have laid claim to expertise in that
area, and add the two other volunteers whose scholarship in the field
I've read (and I haven't done formal graduate work in classics, only in
English), gives us a rather large quorum, don't you think?  And can you
classify everything in that way?  How would you classify xenia, for
instance (though xi is of course spoken for)?  By assigning entries by
area of expertise, you're actually making the editorial problem harder.
I think I good way to proceed would be to let everyone start off
translating the passages each really wants to translate, and then to
start parcelling out the remainder, first by area of expertise ("you look
for anything on Arcadia we haven't translated yet, give us a list by next
Wednesday, and then get cracking!"), and later as the gaps narrow by
letter of the alphabet - while yielding to those who've already laid
claim.

Perhaps those who see this largely as a technical challenge are
wondering "well, why should we start translating before the technological
framework is in place?"  A large project like this can't afford to wait
until the database is ready; by that time, the interest will have cooled
and the volunteers will all have turned their backs.  It would be best to
have some of the most interesting passages from the Suda ready to go
before the database engine is ready, so the prospective translator will
feel as though he or she is participating in something tangible and not
merely potential.  Besides, you'll have to have a way of generating new
interest, as the current volunteers fall off out of ennui or as their
time is consumed by matters more pressing (that new monograph, the
finishing touches on the dissertation, the big programming project at
work, whatever).  If there's something already in place when the
interface comes on line, there will be more to interest both the
potential contributor and the potential reader.

No one writes articles for a magazine that doesn't have any yet.  No one
gives money to a project with no support.  And no one will translate for
SOL if there isn't something concrete to show him (her), to say "you can
be part of this."

That's why I'm encouraging the efforts at posting prelimary versions of
translations, and linking my page to them.  My hope is that eventually
BH & EV and the rest of you will simply start plugging things in (with
the SGML coding, since we all seem to agree on that standard, and
scripted HTML as a temporary stand-in for the online version until the
database engine comes on-line).

Now, why don't EV and BH declare themselves general editors, barring any
objections, and get started on putting the whole thing together?

Patrick Rourke

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