Last week I scanned a paper copy of Guy Davenport's _Seven Greeks_, which is a collection of his translations of the writings of seven Greek poets who came after Homer and Hesiod
The page design must have been in two columns, however, because the scanned text came out all scrambled.
But when your scanner gives you scrambled eggs, it's time to make souffle.
So I have been piecing the scrambled fragments together by going to Google and entering the search terms of the title of the book and then the last phrase which I know was in the correct sequence, like this
"Seven Greeks" "The trap's spring."
And I get back a result like this:
7 Greeks - Page 45 - Google Books Result
1995 - Poetry
115 Gently cock The trap's spring. 116 Let us sing, Ahem, Of Glaukos who wore The pompadour. 117 Damp crotch. 118 Where, where, O Entias, Is the guidon ...
(You may have already realized that this Archilochos guy was more than slightly obscene at times. but, hey, he was a soldier-poet so his two favorite subjects are sex and fighting.)
Anyway, I then take the results and go correct my scanned text. It is both time- and mind-consuming, and I often find I have been doing it for hours without realizing it.
But this morning I realized something--well, two things, actually.
1. I am insane.
2. I am getting a metatextual experience of the fragmentary nature of the texts which is very similar to the scholars who pieced together the original paper fragments.
And *that* is pretty cool.
For my sighted friends who have never had the experience of reconstructing a patchy scanned text, here is a link to an online project which allows people to help piece together papyrus fragments in the British Library.
is a collaboration between a diverse group of Oxford papyrologists and researchers in the Departments of Classics and Astrophysics, the Imaging Papyri Project, the Oxyrhynchus Papyri Project, the Egypt Exploration Society and the Citizen Science Alliance, a collaborative body of universities and museums dedicated to allowing everyone to make a meaningful contribution to scientific research.http://www.papyrology.ox.ac.uk/Ancient_Lives/