Four Zoas: In the Zone

      No Comments on Four Zoas: In the Zone

By Eric Loy

The past few weeks have seen considerable progress in the development of our revised Four Zoas schema. As we expand our sample set of objects, we’re testing our XML structure in new situations and uncovering new complications. The good news: our approach to modeling layered revisions in the manuscript has held up well when applied to these new objects. Whenever difficulty arises, it’s the usual editorial problem of reading a messy manuscript. But the bad news: our element has struggled to keep up.

As you can see in our original test object below, the textual layout of the page is predominantly centralized–meaning, most of the text is contained in a central body with a few marginal inscriptions.

To ease the encoding of these discrete textual spaces, we used the element with @type=body, @type=right, @type=left, etc. Unfortunately (and we knew this was coming), Blake’s marginal inscriptions in Four Zoas are, well, not always so marginal.

Here is object 34:

The British Library-  Add 39764     17v

While the semantic distinctions (body, left, right, etc.) are clear in this object, the amount of text coupled with multiple line groups in each zone push our descriptive …read more