close reading

The process of marking up my transcription has effected my understanding of the text. It helped me to understand the context and learn specific words. For example, I had no idea that a battery was a place; rather, I thought a battery was an object. By looking at it closely, I was able to come to a realization that the battery was a significant place during the Civil War. In my specific entry, I found color coding and marking up words very interesting because I could see whether or not people agreed with what I coded them as. For example, I coded Rengler’s Old Mill as a place, whereas someone else might have thought of it as an object

In her article, Elena Pierazzo speaks about limits. She said, “So, we must have limits, and limits represent the boundarieswithin which the hermeneutic process can develop”(466). Therefore she meant that we couldn’t mark up everything because then we wouldn’t be limiting ourselves.  “The challenge is therefore to select those limits that allow a model which is adequate to the scholarly purpose for which it has been created (466)”. I faced this problem when I was choosing which words to tag. I had to limit myself with the tagging; otherwise I would’ve gone overboard and tagged the whole paper. It was hard to choose which ones I wanted to tag because they all seemed taggable. After I got the hang of it, it became easier and limiting the words that I tagged become more natural and less of a process.

In Pierazzo’s article G.T Tanselle says: “The process of selection is inevitably an interpretative act: what we choose to represent and what we do not depends either on the particular vision that we have of a particular manuscript or on practical constraints”(467). I related to this when I was trying to decide whether something was an object or a place. For example, our whole class was disputing over whether a Cossack was a place or an object. Some people have particular visions as boats being objects where others have envisions of boats being places. My feeling was that Cossack was a place because it’s a place that people go to. Another time I was interpreting things while selecting was when I had to select whether something was just a persons name or a role name. For example, I interpreted col as being a role name. So I selected the tag “roleName” opposed to “persName.”

Another point made in Pierazzo’s article was when E. Pierazzo said “Capital letters were preserved and marked; Austen used these inconsistently for any part of speech, so we have distinguished nouns, verbs, pronouns, adjectives, articles, and adverbs(470).” I agree with this because if things weren’t being capitalized, I’d have trouble distinguishing what the words were and when new sentences were starting. Also without the proper punctuation, it would be hard to follow the entry and understand what was going on. “The original fluctu- ating punctuation was also kept”(470). If it weren’t kept, there would be no proper flow to the diary entry

As a class we came to an agreement on whether specific words were places or objects. At first, everyone would bicker but by the end we all came to an agreement with what we thought the word should be categorized under. I found this process very engaging, yet frustrating, but overall I liked it!

Below is me tagging the word wagon track as an “ object type” in oxygen:


Tagging in Oxygen 

Below is me marking the word “wagon track” with the color orange to represent an object:

Screen shot 2014-10-26 at 7.33.28 PM

Color Coding

As seen in the two pictures the things I marked up and tagged as objects ended up being objects.

In conclusion I enjoyed close reading. It really helped me understand the context of the diary entry more. At first I thought oxygen was going to be extremely difficult to use and overwhelming but it turned out to be very maneuverable and to my liking!