the future of marginalia is bright (not dim) 02.22.2011, 4:27 PM
posted by bob stein
The New York Times hit a hot-button with yesterday's article on the "dim future" for marginalia as books go electronic. As you might imagine, I think marginalia is alive and well in the digital era. If you haven't seen it yet, check out the complex discussion conducted by seven women over the course of six weeks in the margin of Doris Lessing's The Golden Notebook.
Posted by bob stein on February 22, 2011 4:27 PM
Gary Frost on February 22, 2011 10:26 PM:
Marginalia is actually confined to the margin. It is not attenuated as a disembodied scroll. The physical confinement to the unprinted sector keeps the commentary aligned with the relevant text, gives evidence of priority of sequence in time and hand and when cropped gives evidence of rebinding. There is also the overt absence of marginalia on given pages as an indication of reader disregard.
The screen equivalent appears to be blog format. There comments usually require excerpt reference for alignment. Reformatting or even revisions are not well conveyed in screen display.
sol gaitan on March 9, 2011 5:09 PM:
Check last Sunday's(2011/03/06)New York Times Magazine, Sam Anderson's "What I really Want Is Someone Rolling Around in the Text."
A lot of what he says, has been said here in one way or another.
Mark Bernstein on May 22, 2011 2:40 PM:
Gene Golovchinsky at Fuji Xerox has done world-class research on electronic marginalia.
Cathy Marshall at Microsoft wrote a prize-winning paper some years ago about the ways people actually use annotation in electronic and paper media. It's far more complex than people think, and serves more functions.