Skip to Main content Skip to Navigation
Conference papers

The TEI encoding of textual fragments: dangerous wager or efficient stratagem?

Abstract : This paper attempts to question the encoding of textual fragments using the TEI guidelines. The fragment corresponds to part or a (small) portion of a whole that is missing. Whether it is a rest of an object that disappeared or an unfinished embryo of a work in progress, the fragment is transmitted to us disconnected from the complete and finished opus that would give him his nature, function, and finality. Since the TEI is an encoding scheme that views the text as an ordered hierarchy of content objets (OHCO), as it has been analyzed thorougly, it's not possible to use it without giving each element a tag situated in that hierarchy, and therefore its semantics and functionality. In that perspective, one can ask wether or not the choice of the TEI as en encoding scheme can be misleading and produce as a result improper interpretations ? But above all, editing fragments consists in establishing it in a set that will determine the way they are read and interpreted. A new signification will be necessarily induced by the new configuration. Can this presentation bias that promotes groundlessly one order in a textual hierarchy superior to the others be avoided ? The solution may be found in the dynamic edition, the one that can offer every possible presentation without imposing one as more important than the others. The critical electronic edition of the documentary files of Gustave Flaubert's last novel"Bouvard et Pécuchet" relies on that viewpoint. This project aims to propose an edition that could give the fragments of citations he collected and started to organize the mobility they deserve, as the volume was very far from finished when he died. For this project, the TEI is used very pragmatically with two goals. The first consist in "recording" a base structure corresponding to the way these fragments are scripted on the pages of the manuscripted. The second is to use it as a base for en extraction of the editorial units the edition will present away from the original context of the page. This strategy was only possible because the abstract models of the inscription of the fragments and of the edition that has to be made were clearly established. It shows that strongly embedded markup which is often depreciated, provided that project the only efficient way of extracting these fragment with oll the contextual information that is necessary for a reader to make sense of them, in an dynamic edition that tries to avoid the presentational bias of the printed edition.
Document type :
Conference papers
Complete list of metadatas
Contributor : Emmanuelle Morlock <>
Submitted on : Wednesday, September 23, 2009 - 11:09:39 AM
Last modification on : Monday, February 10, 2020 - 12:16:52 PM


  • HAL Id : halshs-00419300, version 1


Emmanuelle Morlock-Gerstenkorn. The TEI encoding of textual fragments: dangerous wager or efficient stratagem?. TEI Conference and Members' Meeting 2011, TEI consortium, Oct 2011, Würzburg, Germany. ⟨halshs-00419300⟩



Record views