|volume 4, issue 2, 2003-4|
1 Or sites of information not directly relevant to the footnoted text: I originally wrote this essay in digital hypertext format for the Web and reconceived it for print here. I want to thank the Clemson University Center for Electronic and Digital Publishing for inviting me to speak at the "Colloquium on New Technology and the Future of Publishing" at Clemson on April 5, 2001 and for commissioning the HTML version for the Clemson University Digital Press; John Lavagnino for calling Jonathan Coe's novel and Paul Meahan for calling Yeats's poem to my attention; and Molly Peacock for giving me ideas for improvements to the essay. The Web version of this essay is available online at the Clemson University Digital Press's Web site.
2 Alain, quoted in the Robert Dictionary, cited in Genette 319 n. 1.
3 Grafton 69-70 and n. 16. According to Cole Lesley, John Barrymore's biographer, "Barrymore expressed the opinion that having to look at a footnote was like having to go down to answer the front door just as you were coming" (Lesley xx). A second book-length study of footnotes appeared in 2002: Chuck Zerby's The Devil's Details: A History of Footnotes.
4 In the nineteenth century, a self-annotating text could sometimes be unintentionally comic. In Very Bad Poetry, Kathryn Petras and Ross Petras present an excerpt from "The Homeward-Bound Passenger Ship" by the mid-nineteenth-century, and appropriately named, English poet Edward Edwin Foot. In it, a footnote at the end of the line "The captain scans the ruffled zone" helpfully describes the last phrase as "A figurative expression, intended by the Author to signify the horizon," and a note to the word "See" in the line "See, if you can, their lifeless forms!-" annotates the word as "Imagine" (39).
The editors also provide a complete untitled short poem by Foot, which they say "deserves special notice for the ratio of poem text to footnote text" and also for the footnotes' startling ability to fail to clarify the poem in any way (39):
Altho' we1 mourn for one now gone,
And he-that grey-hair'd Palmerston,2
We will give God the praise,-
For he, beyond the age of man,3
Eleven years had over-ran
Within two equal days.
1 The nation.
2 The Right Honourable Henry John Temple, Viscount Palmerston, K.G., G.C.B., etc. (the then Premier of the
British Government), died at "Brockett Hall," Herts., at a quarter to eleven o'clock in the forenoon of
Wednesday, 18th October, 1865, aged eighty-one years (all but two days), having been born on the 20th
October, 1784, The above lines were written on the occasion of his death.
3 Scriptural limitation.
5 As a result, a sentence from the memoir in which the director talks about his wife-"Marsha is delightfully candid about her earlier career, and has never made any secret of the fact that she started out in the business by starring, under my own direction, in a series of sex movies"-which is supposed to be annotated with the a note identifying the films ("Their titles, for the record, were Wet Knickers, Pussy Talk and Cream on My Face"), is instead annotated in this way: "Much praised, recently, by Denis Thatcher, who said that they had given him 'six of the most enjoyable hours of my life.' His wife Margaret later joked that he was 'stiff for hours afterwards.'" The note with the porn-film titles ends up annotating the sentence, "Among the most prized possessions in our library are several books recommended to her during an audience with Pope Paul VI, who said that they were among the most inspiring and influential works he had ever read." The Thatcher note is supposed to be a note to "This [country] club, the flagship of my chain I might add, has already played host to some distinguished visitors, and boasts among its attractions no fewer than two rather challenging eighteen-hole golf courses" (all Coe 270-71).
6 A condensed version of the messages is available on the Web at http://publish.uwo.ca/~mgroden/annocond.html
Bachelard, Gaston. The Poetics of Space. 1958. Translated by Maria Jolas. New York: Orion Press, 1964.
Barney, Stephen A., ed. Annotations and Its Texts. New York: Oxford University Press, 1991.
Battestin, Martin C. "A Rationale of Literary Annotation: The Example of Fielding's Novels." Studies in Bibliography 34 (1981): 1-22. Reprinted online at <http://etext.lib.virginia.edu/bsuva/sb/>. Accessed December 4, 2003.
Beehler, Rodger. "In Editing a Good Novel, the Best Footnote Is0" Chronicle of Higher Education, March 9, 2001, pp. B14-B15.
Blom, Andrew H. Message posted to J-Joyce Internet discussion list, November 29, 1998. Available at <http://publish.uwo.ca/~mgroden/annocond.html> Accessed December 4, 2003.
Coe, Jonathan. The House of Sleep. 1997. Reprinted New York: Vintage, 1999, esp. Chapter 15, pp. 263-76.
Cosgrove, Peter W. "Undermining the Text: Edward Gibbon, Alexander Pope, and the Anti-
Authenticating Footnote." In Barney, pp. 130-51.
Derrida, Jacques. "This Is Not an Oral Footnote." In Barney, pp. 192-205.
Ellmann, Richard. Preface to James Joyce. Ulysses. Edited by Hans Walter Gabler with Wolfhard Steppe and Claus Melchior. New York: Vintage, 1986, 1993, ix-xiv.
Genette, Gérard. Paratexts: Thresholds of Interpretation. 1987. Translated by Jane E. Lewin. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1997.
Gifford, Don F. , with Robert J. Seidman. "Ulysses" Annotated: Notes for James Joyce's "Ulysses." Revised and expanded edition. Berkeley: University of California Press, 1988.
Grafton, Anthony. The Footnote: A Curious History. Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1997.
Groden, Michael. "'James Joyce's Ulysses in Hypermedia': Problems of Annotation." Available online from Clemson University Digital Press at
<http://www.clemson.edu/caah/cedp/Tech Colloquium 2001/Groden Files/index.html>. Accessed December 4, 2003.
Hanna, Ralph III. "Annotation as Social Practice." In Barney, pp. 178-84.
Johnson, Jeri, ed. Ulysses: The 1922 Text, by James Joyce. London: Oxford University Press, 1993.
Joyce, James. Ulysses. 1922. Edited by Hans Walter Gabler with Wolfhard Steppe and Claus Melchior. New York: Vintage, 1986, 1993 (cited by page and then episode:line number).
Kiberd, Declan, introduction and notes. Ulysses, by James Joyce. Annotated Student's Edition. London: Penguin, 1992.
Landow, George P. Hypertext 2.0. Revised edition of Hypertext: The Convergence of Contemporary Critical Theory and Technology. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1997.
Lavagnino, John. "Pale Fire and the Reader of Scholarly Commentary." Chapter 3 of "Nabokov's Realism." PhD dissertation, Brandeis University, May 1998, pp. 75-106.
Lawler, Traugott. "Medieval Annotation: The Example of the Commentaries on Walter Map's Dissuasio Valerii." In Barney, pp. 94-107.
Lesley, Cole. Remembered Laughter: The Life of Noel Coward. New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1977.
Nabokov, Vladimir. Pale Fire. 1962. Reprinted New York: Vintage, 1989.
Petras, Kathryn, and Ross Petras, ed. Very Bad Poetry. New York: Vintage, 1997.
Sorrentino, Gilbert. Mulligan Stew. 1979. Reprinted Normal, IL: Dalkey Archive Press, 1996.
Thornton, Weldon. Allusions in "Ulysses": An Annotated List. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1968.
White, Patricia S. "Black and White and Read All Over: A Meditation on Footnotes." Text 5 (1991): 81-90.
Yeats, W.B. "The Scholars." In The Poems. 2nd edition. The Collected Works of W.B. Yeats. Volume 1. Ed. Richard J. Finneran. New York: Scribner, 1997, p. 141.
Zerby, Chuck. The Devil's Details: A History of Footnotes. Montpelier, VT: Invisible Cities Press, 2002.