Writing the Archive: An Experiment in Literary Self-Consciousness

Manuel Portela


Since the mid-1990s theories of electronic editing have tried to establish a rationale for textual representation based on the specificity of digital processing. This rationale has been tested on a significant number of scholarly archives that have expanded our models of both genetic and critical editions. More recently, some of these projects have tried to accommodate Web 2.0 functionalities by introducing a social editing layer that allows for a certain degree of interaction with facsimiles and transcriptions. In the LdoD Archive—a research project that aims at remediating Fernando Pessoa’s Book of Disquiet—we have defined a dynamic model for virtualization that includes both editorial and writing interactions. After briefly sketching our model for a virtual LdoD, this article focuses on the LdoD Archive’s writing functionalities. The LdoD Archive attempts to integrate text processing tools within the textual environment created by XML encoding of Pessoa's texts. This integration of editing, reading, and writing becomes an experimental simulation of literary processes that redefines the poetics of scholarly digital archiving by means of electronic literature procedures and a social media rationale.


Pessoa, Book of Disquiet, digital archive, self-consciousness, electronic literature

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