Digital Lear by Anne Marie

I like the idea of a parallel edition of a text with two versions, but this is obviously easier to accomplish in an actual book when there are only two versions. A screen doesn’t have the same limitations as a book, so it would be possible to display three different pages next to each other at the same time without having to deal with awkward page turns. For a digital edition of Lear, the Q, F, and conflated texts could each have their own tabs that the reader could close or re-order so that no text always comes first or in the middle of the page. Each text could be spaced so that they all versions of the play end in the same place, although this might make for some awkward gaps on the page. In the interest of looking at the texts simultaneously, there could be an option to have all three texts scroll at the same time or separately, or two at the same time while the third remains static.

I also like being able to choose how much information I see at one time, so the conflated version could have an option to turn on or off highlighted text indicating whether it came from Q or F. Similarly, both Q and F could have the option to turn on or off highlighted variations, or places where the other version is different, thus giving readers the option to consider individual word variances. There could also be hyperlinks to notes and commentary in each text, which could pop up in a window below the text tabs so the reader doesn’t have to navigate away from the texts, similar to the TEAMS Middle English text series that Rachel mentioned.

Since it has options to turn information on and off, this digital version could work for scholars wanting to study variations as well as for casual readers who only want to read one version.