Editing Modernism in Canada


December 10, 2012

Tony Tremblay’s Fred Cogswell: The Many-Dimensioned Self

On 30 November, Tony Tremblay of St. Thomas University launched his new EMiC-supported digital edition, Fred Cogswell: The Many-Dimensioned Self. Tony’s edition features the selected works of Fred Cogswell, as well as a critical appraisal of Cogswell’s creative and cultural works.

Fred Cogswell was one of New Brunswick’s best-known and beloved editors, publishers, poets, translators, and professors. In this edition, Tony provides evidence that Cogswell — whom he calls a man of “indefatigable energy for work, creation, compassion, and leadership” — was a pre-eminent cultural worker who stands as a pillar of twentieth-century Canadian modernism. Tony has organized the edition to represent the different aspects — or dimensions — of Cogswell’s life and works, beginning with a biographical chapter, and then covering Cogswell’s poetry and editorial correspondences, respectively. The final chapter of Tony’s edition provides a comprehensive and up-to-date bibliography of Cogswell’s work.

Content aside, Tony’s new edition is also exciting because of its digital format.  Working with Archives and Special Collections at the Harriet Irving Library and the University of New Brunswick’s Electronic Text Centre, Tony has designed an edition with an interface that will accommodate casual readers and scholars alike: while the ISSUU format allows readers the comfort and familiarity of viewing the text as a simulated Gutenberg book, the quick links and search feature allow scholars to locate specific parts of the text. Further, the ISSUU software provides options for visually impaired readers, making this edition truly accessible to as many readers as possible.

Tony hopes Fred Cogswell: The Many-Dimensioned Self is the first in what will be become a series of digital editions of out-of-print texts, and he intends his new edition to serve as a template for future editions of Canadian modernist texts. Tony’s work on Cogswell has laid the groundwork for the future of digital dissemination, which will provide exposure to long-neglected Canadian collections and writers.

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