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Manícula: what lies behind a medieval text?

'Manícula' equals the word Note

'Manícula' equals the word Note

Samples of the antitheft signatures found in the Historical Library, Complutense University, ms. 207, f. 1

Samples of the antitheft signatures found in the Historical Library, Complutense University, ms. 207, f. 1

10/07/2018

Cultura

Medieval texts reach our hands thanks to the task of the editors, who adapt those to the different readers updating the text with a current language or forming a theoretical corpus to specify terminology and contextual references that are used in the original text.

Manícula is a dissemination project on editorial research and teaching which has been published with the launch of the website from which the information will be shared, thanks to the work of the area of medieval studies from the Department of Catalan Philology and General Linguistics of the UB in collaboration with Barcino publishing house, which is specialized in Catalan medieval texts.

The aim of the project is to transmit the research knowledge and share the interest in discovering curiosities, anecdotes and challenges in the editing process. Editing a text can change depending on the target audience and it can last for several months or years, depending on the number of existing manuscripts, the kind of edition, etc. During this time, while editors work on the texts, they sometimes find linguistic and historical details which were regarded as a curiosity so far within the editing team. With Manícula: taller d’edició i anotació de textos they want to open the doors of the editing field and show what an editing unit is and how it works, and share the curiosities they find with everyone.

One of the directors of the project, Albert Soler, lecturer of Medieval Catalan Literature at the UB and member of the Documentation Centre Ramon Llull, says, for instance, they found that many medieval manuscripts had some cacography in some pages. Soler says that, in a visit to the library of the Major College of San Ildefonso (Madrid) to check some manuscripts by Ramon Llull, the director of the cataloguing project, Elisa Ruiz Garcia, said these marks are signatures librarians made in the early 17th century to prevent people from stealing or controlling their books. These findings are examples of what we can find in the Manícula website named Píndoles, which can have an image or graphic with them.

Manícula wants to show what happens during the editing process of a medieval text, and to do so, an online platform was created to tell more about these findings and notes on medieval texts. The project wants to break the stereotype of philologists being bookworms and don’t know what they do, to show the editing process until the publication of a text with a specific edition, according to some of its members.

Anna Fernández Clot, member of Manícula, adds an editing process consists of making, out of an old text and its manuscripts, an only text as similar as the old one as possible. This text can be edited in many ways depending on what its target audience is, it can be orthographically regularized and editors can add footnotes to make its understanding easier.

These footnotes enable readers to understand the text better and get linguistic and historical insights. These are done collaboratively in Manícula, through an online interface where philologists of the Documentation Centre Ramon Llull work, together with members of Barcino publishing house and bachelor and master degree students of the Faculty of Philology of the UB. Manícula outstands for its immediacy on the publishing of the text notes, which appear when they are found and therefore can be seen before the final edition of the work. It also publishes further information with graphic elements to represent the explained aspects.

Manícula has been open to the public for over the last month of May and so far, people can mostly find about the editing and annotation task on Ramon Llull’s Romanç d’Evast e Blanquerna, among other findings in texts that are being worked on. Apart from publishing interesting findings and notes, Manícula will share news on medieval texts and explanations on what an editing unit is like.

The Manícula project was presented in the 4th Meeting of Scientific Disseminators of the University of Barcelona. Albert Soler, codirector of the project together with Joan Santanach, talked about the initiative in this video.

 

 

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