January 27, 2007

Hyper-Roland

by Nick Montfort · , 12:20 pm

Not that Roland! The one with the sword. Vika Zafrin has linked to the latest version of RolandHT (with instructions) for use on Firefox or some other XSLT-capable browser, if there is one. (OS X Opera seems to work, too.) Her project – not fully loaded with lexias as yet – is a humanities computing project that promises to have wide appeal to the casual reader as well as disciplinary use. It allows the hypertext reader to compare different texts, by different authors, and see how literature has engaged Roland as a character. This sheds new light on how the the loveable, muslim-fighting paladin went from his starring role in The Song of Roland to become, as the font of all encyclopediac knowledge says, “a ‘pop icon’ in medieval minstrel culture.” There’s some more background about the project online, and for those who really must skip the instructions, here’s the direct link.