Emily Dickinson's fragments, which appear at a late moment in the trajectory of her writing, are essentially private texts, belonging to the space of creation rather than communication. Never prepared for publication, perhaps never even meant to be read, they are symptoms of the processes of composition, data of the work of writing.
Radical Scatters is an electronic archive of eighty-two documents carrying fragmentary texts written by Dickinson between c. 1870 and 1886, as well as fifty-four poems, letters, and other writings with direct links to the fragments. Conceding the inadequacy of conventional scholarly paradigms to represent them, Marta Werner has taken advantage of the capabilities of computer technology to conceive and develop an alternative model of presentation, a new paradigm that allows scholars to work with Dickinson's texts in unedited form and to draw on them in a nonlinear manner.
The archive comprises six bodies of materials: high-quality facsimiles of the fragments and related texts; diplomatic transcriptions that display the documents's spatial dynamics; SGML-marked electronic texts; images of other documents drawn from the realm of Dickinson's late papers; various critical paratexts; and maps and code, type, and hand libraries. All of the primary materials in the archive are organized for full electronic search and analysis.
Radical Scatters will revolutionize Dickinson scholarship in particular and textual scholarship more generally.
Marta L. Werner is Assistant Professor of Literature, Georgia State University.
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