Novels:Community Page

From Marteau

The Novel in Europe 1670-1730 is a 2001 project - today a rather outdated internet relic. It is on the other hand a project of its own relevance and a project the editor can no longer remove from public view that easily - colleagues have worked into the database, it has become partly their own project though none of the original contributors has added any further information probably during the last years.

An internet relic

In the summer of 2001, when I had just published my Marteaus Europa oder der Roman bevor er Literatur wurde, Amsterdam 2001 (a survey of English and German fiction 1710-1720) I needed a decision for the book's secret second part: a 200 page bibliography with detailed descriptions of all the titles I had read. It was unlikely that a publisher would be interested in these descriptions, I had furthermore excerpts of all the books (regrettably in German) and no idea what to do with them. To put at least the bibliography onto the web had its charme. I would perhaps later add the excerpts in English. Google would find the titles and advertise my book.

Once I began with the basis structure: ten years linked to individual pages about the individual books, everything became far more complicated. Many of my books had their first editions before 1710. I had actually covered much of the market since the 1670s. So why not risk the wider picture of the years 1670 to 1730? One would love to see the results on maps - something one could produce with a bit of html... a moment later the entire project had moved out of control. I began to learn html-source code in order to see what to do with these data, and I invested on the wrong horse.

Colleague saw the pages and provided information for more pages. I translated word files they sent me into an increasingly complex html code - complex since the pages we produced were interrelated. No one could work independently on this project. This was its doom in a single sentence. I myself stumbled over Wikipedia and became a Wikipedian very quickly, realising that only such a software could do the job. The project was by that time outdated and it had become far too massive to be pushed it onto the next technological level by myself - and that is where it is today. One would need a semantic-wiki do get it decently done, one would need a bigger project interested in far more that the novels and the particular time frame.

...though of its very own beauties

The Novel in Europe, 1650-1749