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Hope College August 2013 : Page 19

Faculty Profile Humanities and the I Digital Book Dr. John Cox ’67 of the English faculty, who is internationally recognized as a scholar of Shakespeare, reversed the digitization process with his scholarly edition of Julius Caesar. In an era when many print books subsequently become digitized, his latest published volume began with a digital version he had previously created. n an unusual move, Professor John D. Cox ’67 of the English faculty has published a book based on work he originally published online. Books are increasingly being digitized, by Google Books and others, and some books are being published exclusively online. Dr. Cox’s book reverses the trend. His book is a scholarly edition of Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar . The play started life in Shakespeare’s Globe Theater in 1599. It was first published in the 1623 collection of Shakespeare’s works now known as The First Folio. Dr. Cox, who is the DuMez Professor of English at Hope, is internationally recognized as a scholar of Shakespeare. Among his other publications, he is the author of the books Seeming Knowledge: Shakespeare and Skeptical Faith (Baylor University Press, 1989) and Shakespeare and the Dramaturgy of Power (Princeton University Press, 1989), and co-editor of the Third Arden Shakespeare Edition of Henry VI, Part 3 (Thomson Learning, 2001). He was supported in writing both Seeming Knowledge: Shakespeare and Skeptical Faith and Shakespeare and the Dramaturgy of Power through highly competitive, year-long fellowships from the National Endowment for the Humanities during 2004-05 and 1985-86 respectively. While on sabbatical in the spring of 2007, he worked at the Folger Shakespeare Library in Washington, D.C. He had been invited to produce a critical edition of Julius Caesar for Internet Shakespeare Editions (or ISE, whose web address is http://internetshakespeare.uvic.ca/). Dr. Cox started by proofreading a digitized version of Julius Caesar as it appears in the First Folio. “Every mark and space in the Folio text had been reproduced in Hypertext Markup Language (HTML) for online publication,” he said. “Every mark and space had to be checked for accuracy against the original.” As an added challenge, the source material wasn’t always clear. “Early printing is interesting because it was imprecise,” he said. “And that’s why it’s important to have multiple copies at the Folger Library to consult.” Even within the same edition, for example, there can be differences as printers made changes mid-press run. “You can tell at exactly what stage each copy of the Folio was printed by going through and finding those corrections,” Dr. Cox said. In one case, Dr. Cox even reviewed multiple originals to determine if a mark on a page was punctuation or simply a smudge. Painstaking attention to detail—to both Shakespeare’s original work and the coding required for html format— lay behind the development of the online edition of Julius Caesar developed by Dr. John Cox ’67. Here are the opening lines of Julius Caesar in the Folio: Here are the same lines in HTML: <MODE t=”verse”> <TLN n=”4”><S><SP norm=”Flavius”><C><I>Flaui{us}</ I>.</C></SP> <TLN n=”5”><J><ORNAMENT letter=”H” drop=”3”>Ence: home you idle Creatures, get you home:</J> <TLN n=”6”>Is this a Holiday? What, know you not <TLN n=”7”>(Being Mechanicall) you ought not walke <TLN n=”8”>Vpon a labouring day, without the {{s}i} gne <TLN n=”9”>Of your Profe{{s}{s}i}on? Speake, what Trade art thou?</S> </MODE> “I verified that it was not in fact a comma,” he said. “It was just an ink splatter that was on some copies but not on others.” Dr. Cox’s next task was to create a text of Julius Caesar that modern readers can easily understand, with updated spelling and punctuation and added stage directions where necessary. Once the ISE textual editor had approved the modernized text, Cox turned to writing notes and introduction for the play. The web version of his edition was peer reviewed and published in 2009. In the meantime, Broadview Press, a Canadian textbook publisher, had entered into an agreement with ISE. Broadview proposed to publish in print a selection of ISE’s scholarly edited plays for Advanced Placement high school students and college undergraduates. Dr. Cox signed a contract with Broadview in 2010. Julius Caesar was the second play to be published by Broadview. The first was As You Like It , edited by David Bevington of the University of Chicago. The Broadview text required considerable additional work. The notes had to be reduced, both in number and length. Introductions had to be simplified, rearranged, and reorganized. Illustrations had to be added and permission to publish them had to be secured from archives in the U.S., Britain, and continental Europe. In this process, the web was essential. Dr. Cox found all the images online and secured permission to publish them by email. In this way, too, the print edition depended on the digital revolution. “A king may go a progress through the guts of a beggar,” observes Shakespeare’s Hamlet with grim wit. “Little did Shakespeare dream that a print edition of Julius Caesar would some day go a progress through the web,” Dr. Cox said. June 2012 August 2013 19

Faculty Profile

Dr. John Cox

<br /> Digital Humanization and the Book<br /> <br /> In an unusual move, Professor John D. Cox ’67 of the English faculty has published a book based on work he originally published online.<br /> <br /> Books are increasingly being digitized, by Google Books and others, and some books are being published exclusively online. Dr. Cox’s book reverses the trend.<br /> <br /> His book is a scholarly edition of Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar. The play started life in Shakespeare’s Globe Theater in 1599. It was first published in the 1623 collection of Shakespeare’s works now known as The First Folio.<br /> <br /> Dr. Cox, who is the DuMez Professor of English at Hope, is internationally recognized as a scholar of Shakespeare. Among his other publications, he is the author of the books Seeming Knowledge: Shakespeare and Skeptical Faith (Baylor University Press, 1989) and Shakespeare and the Dramaturgy of Power (Princeton University Press, 1989), and co-editor of the Third Arden Shakespeare Edition of Henry VI, Part 3 (Thomson Learning, 2001). He was supported in writing both Seeming Knowledge: Shakespeare and Skeptical Faith and Shakespeare and the Dramaturgy of Power through highly competitive, year-long fellowships from the National Endowment for the Humanities during 2004-05 and 1985-86 respectively.<br /> <br /> While on sabbatical in the spring of 2007, he worked at the Folger Shakespeare Library in Washington, D.C. He had been invited to produce a critical edition of Julius Caesar for Internet Shakespeare Editions (or ISE, whose web address is http://internetshakespeare.uvic.ca/).<br /> <br /> Dr. Cox started by proofreading a digitized version of Julius Caesar as it appears in the First Folio.<br /> <br /> “Every mark and space in the Folio text had been reproduced in Hypertext Markup Language (HTML) for online publication,” he said. “Every mark and space had to be checked for accuracy against the original.”<br /> <br /> As an added challenge, the source material wasn’t always clear.<br /> <br /> “Early printing is interesting because it was imprecise,” he said. “And that’s why it’s important to have multiple copies at the Folger Library to consult.”<br /> <br /> Even within the same edition, for example, there can be differences as printers made changes mid-press run. “You can tell at exactly what stage each copy of the Folio was printed by going through and finding those corrections,” Dr. Cox said.<br /> <br /> In one case, Dr. Cox even reviewed multiple originals to determine if a mark on a page was punctuation or simply a smudge.<br /> <br /> “I verified that it was not in fact a comma,” he said. “It was just an ink splatter that was on some copies but not on others.”<br /> <br /> Dr. Cox’s next task was to create a text of Julius Caesar that modern readers can easily understand, with updated spelling and punctuation and added stage directions where necessary. Once the ISE textual editor had approved the modernized text, Cox turned to writing notes and introduction for the play. The web version of his edition was peer reviewed and published in 2009.<br /> <br /> In the meantime, Broadview Press, a Canadian textbook publisher, had entered into an agreement with ISE. Broadview proposed to publish in print a selection of ISE’s scholarly edited plays for Advanced Placement high school students and college undergraduates. Dr. Cox signed a contract with Broadview in 2010. Julius Caesar was the second play to be published by Broadview. The first was As You Like It, edited by David Bevington of the University of Chicago.<br /> <br /> The Broadview text required considerable additional work. The notes had to be reduced, both in number and length. Introductions had to be simplified, rearranged, and reorganized. Illustrations had to be added and permission to publish them had to be secured from archives in the U.S., Britain, and continental Europe. In this process, the web was essential. Dr. Cox found all the images online and secured permission to publish them by email. In this way, too, the print edition depended on the digital revolution.<br /> <br /> “A king may go a progress through the guts of a beggar,” observes Shakespeare’s Hamlet with grim wit. “Little did Shakespeare dream that a print edition of Julius Caesar would some day go a progress through the web,” Dr. Cox said.

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