Problems in editorial practices of low-key and historical languages and digital possibilities

(Lecture in German)

Speaker: Prof. Dr. Wolfgang Dahmen, Bamberg (Prof. em. of Romanian Philologie, University of Jena)

14 Nov 2019 | 17:00 | C²DH-Lounge, MSH, 4th Floor

Emblem of the Bukarest-Bible

The study of Old Romanian texts raises some problematic aspects that are highly specific to the Romanian literary tradition and cannot be found in any other Romance-speaking country. The first of these specific aspects is that Romania was heavily influenced by third parties and did not have its own literary tradition as early on as other Romance-speaking areas, such as France, whose French literary tradition can be said to have started in 842 with the Oaths of Strasbourg. Most genuinely Romanian texts developed rather late, beginning in the 16th century alongside the advent of the printing press. A second and rather peculiar problem for Romania is the use of specific versions of the (old) Cyrillic alphabet for the publication of these first texts. This renders early Romanian works almost inaccessible to modern Romanians, who are used to reading and writing in the Latin alphabet.

The lecturer will reflect on the editorial problems raised by these unstandardised texts and scripts and explore how best to facilitate understanding for academics and non-academics alike. The multilingual context in Romania will be emphasised, along with the cultural shifts that occurred at the time, to shed light on the underlying causes that marked the beginning of the Romanian literary tradition. This is paramount for a genuine understanding of the textual era, which in turn is needed to grasp the complexities of such editorial practices as will be mentioned. One example will be the Romanian version of the Alexander Romance, which will soon be published as a trilingual edition (Old Romanian in Cyrillic, modern Romanian in Latin, and German). The lecture will end by looking at the potential of digital editions to enhance current editorial practices.

The lecture will be in German; questions can be asked in French and English.


Leave a Reply