I’m not the best at analogies, but try to stay with me:
Would you wear a dress in gym class?
Would you drink coffee at a vineyard?
Would you watch television in a bookstore?
The answer to all of these questions would probably be “No” because these things don’t fit together. One thing that I’ve had a personal struggle with while using the iPad, particularly while reading “Hard Times,” is deciding whether or not original typefaces “fit” with the modern technology of the iPad. After a semester on the iPad, I’ve come to a conclusion. There’s something unnatural about reading a text like “Hard Times” in its original form, on a device that is capable of portraying it in a more digestible way. It’s frustrating reading a digital text that is far from “digital.” Isn’t the point of digital technology to make things easier? Quicker? Accessible? Do we really gain anything from reading an entire text in its original form? I’m not sure we do.
One thing this class has introduced us to is the evolution of a text. All the works we’ve read have experienced a number of changes since their original dates of publication, often for good reason. Rather than jumping back in time, maybe a class that uses the iPad should help contribute to the evolution of a text by presenting works in modern forms. That said, I don’t think we should completely abandon works’ original appearances; maybe a modern, digital text can have a page or two demonstrating what the original text looked like.
The iPad permits innovation, so I think it’s important that we innovate. I think the department is heading in the right direction with its creating of the UVA Anthology.