January 23, 2012 § 3 Comments
Stanley Fish has a piece in the New York Times today that makes some use of my contribution to Debates in the Digital Humanities. The DH Debates collection isn’t online yet, but similar work of mine can be found in Post45 and (with updates) in the proceedings of the Chicago Colloquium on Digital Humanities and Computer Science (PDF).
Here I’ll only add that while I appreciate the attention, I have my doubts about Fish’s sincerity when he proposes to defend the pursuit of authorial intent (in Milton, no less!).
[My colleague Steve Fallon—the distinguished Miltonist—observes that Fish frequently uses a different, constructivist account of imputed authorial intent in his own criticism. But I'd maintain that this is sufficiently different from the naïve version offered in the column as to be an entirely distinct thing.]
Update: Ted Underwood has a smart reply on the relationship between theory and experiment or, more humanistically, where our ideas come from.
Update 2: Mark Lieberman at Language Log runs some revealing numbers on the P’s and B’s in Areopagitica that were part of Fish’s set piece.
Update 3: Martin Mueller has a long and wide-ranging response to Fish’s series of articles, including a defense-cum-clarification of my own work. Worth a read and I thank him for it.