Local report

A edition project of the Swiss Literary Archives, the Cologne Center for eHumanities (CCeH) and the Swiss National Science Foundation

Hermann Burger (1942-1989) wrote his first novel between 1970 and 1972. It remained unpublished until recently. The manuscript is kept in Swiss Literary Archives.

The project reconstructed the history of this novel and made the results accessible in electronic form: http://www.lokalbericht.ch. It was published in cooperation with the Cologne Center for eHumanities (CCeH). The editorially developed version is also available as a book.

The edition closes a gap in the work of Hermann Burger, and at the same time shows that the change to its characteristic style was incremental. Already, in his first novel, Burger invested in his famous autoreflexive writing process.

This textual peculiarity called for an edition technique that maked comprehensible the interdependency on writing practices and poetics. This is precisely enabled by the digital preparation and presentation of the textkorpus: The materiality of Burger’s writing progress is made visible with digital documents.

Hermann Burger’s hometown Aarau completes this project with an exhibition: “Lokalbericht. Hermann Burgers Romanerstling”.

This interesting project shows once more, that editions are very important in the Digital Humanities. So far, they seem the best way to exploit digital possibilities. At least in German-speaking countries.

 

 


Guido Koller

Senior Historian, Swiss Federal Archives, CH-3003 Berne, Switzerland

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