creative versioning project 10.03.2005, 11:59 AM
"I don't have a single early draft of any novel or story. I just 'saved' over the originals until I reached the final version. All there is is the books themselves." - Zadie Smith
This is a call (re-published from the Electronic Literature Organization) for writers to participate in a creative versioning project, hopefully to begin this winter:
Matthew Kirschenbaum is looking for poets and fiction writers willing to participate in a project to archive versions of texts in progress. An electronic document repository (known as a Concurrent Versions System, or CVS) will be used to track revisions and changes to original fiction and poetry contributed by participating writers who will work by checking their drafts in and out of the repository system. The goal is to provide access to a work at each and every state of its composition and conceptual evolution - thereby capturing the text as a living, dynamic object-in-the-making rather than a finished end-product. A reader will be able to watch the composition process unfold as though s/he were looking over the writer’s shoulder.
For guidelines and contact info, visit ELO.
Posted by ben vershbow at October 3, 2005 11:59 AM
tags: CVS, ELO, book, books, concurrent_versioning_system, digital, digital_literature, ebook, editing, eliterature, lit, literature, novel, project, revision, revision_history, story, versioning, writing
Thank you for cross-posting. There's a short companion piece to the project posted here, which takes up the plight of the above-mentioned Zadie Smith in the context of what electronic documents actually are:
Posted by: Matt K. at October 3, 2005 08:37 PM
I've been wishing for a long time that I could throw away the boxes of printed revisions piled up around my desk, but I can't because I need them to write. I often go back through them for a line or a passage. They also help me identify larger patterns in my writing style and choice of subject matter. Matthew Kirschenbaum's project is appealing for it's ability to lessen desk clutter, but more than that, for the possibilities it brings to the table. The "Call for Participants" promises that "relations between the versions expressed by means of maps and visualizations." Oooo, that sounds interesting. So I'm sending my "willing participant" email off the Mr. Kirschenbaum. Only thing I'm a little wobbly about is the fact that the "reader will be able to watch the composition process unfold as though s/he were looking over the writer’s shoulder," yikes.
Posted by: kim white at October 3, 2005 09:14 PM