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With the support of the Beckett Estate, the Beckett Digital Manuscript Project has recently been launched as a partnership between the Centre for Manuscript Genetics at the University of Antwerp, the Beckett International Foundation at the University of Reading, and the Harry Ransom Humanities Research Center at the University of Texas at Austin.
The project will include a digital archive of Beckett’s manuscripts organized in research modules that include beautiful facsimile pages alongside careful transcriptions. These digital artifacts will be accompanied by print volumes offering scholarly commentary on the texts. The first module, “Stirrings Still / Soubresautes and ‘comment dire / what is the word,’” has been edited by Dirk van Hulle and is now available at www.beckettarchive.org.
Such a project, of course, will make available powerful tools for the study of Beckett while also making available important manuscript and textual materials for Joyceans. We must all look eagerly forward to the moment when the Joyce Estate has the good sense to initiate a similar project. Perhaps by the time the Beckett project is complete? Alas, this is scheduled to be 2037.
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