Intertextuality in the Legal Papers of Karl Kraus – A Scholarly Digital Edition

Project Funding: FWF Austrian Science Fund, P 31138
Project Duration: 01.09.2018 – 30.04.2022
Project Lead: Katharina Prager (LBIDH, Vienna City Library)
Project Team: Johannes Knüchel (LBIDH), Isabel Langkabel (LBIDH), Laura Untner (ACDH-CH), Vanessa Hannesschläger (ACDH-CH), Ingo Börner (ACDH-CH)
Project Partners: Ludwig Boltzmann Institute for Digital History (LBIDH) (until February 2019: Ludwig Boltzmann Institute for History and Society, LBIGG), Austrian Centre for Digital Humanities / Austrian Academy of Sciences (ACDH-CH), Vienna City Library

The project is dedicated to Karl Kraus (1874-1936), an essential representative of ‘critical modernism’. Although the legal system was of central importance to the writer and publicist, his extensive legal files are virtually unexplored. They originate from the office of his long-time lawyer Dr. Oskar Samek, document over 200 cases from 17 years (1922-1938) and are located in the ‘Karl Kraus Archive’ of the Vienna City Library.

An edition of Kraus’ legal papers published by Hermann Böhm (1995–1997) is already out of print and, moreover, incomplete. The first digital edition of the legal acts closes a research desideratum and opens up new possibilities of knowledge for users from different disciplines.

The groundwork was built upon the “Karl Kraus Online” project, in which the entire set of records was digitized. These digitized documents were compared to synoptic transcriptions. The Text Encoding Initiative’s standard for XML document markup was adapted and optimized for the project and the material to be edited, enabling the markup of texts and, subsequently, the establishment of connections between individual documents.

The research question at the core of the study was to examine what the quotation procedures and strategies looked like in concrete terms. Who speaks in the records, who is called as a witness in what manner, and in what context do the quotations stand? How do they relate to citations in other texts by Kraus, and are changes discernible in the course of the politically eventful years for Austria (over which the legal acts span)?

To aid users, the extensive and complex material is presented through thematically organized pages that explain specific connections between individual records and/or documents. Additionally, a reference collection, containing numerous written and interview contributions from researchers of various disciplines, is provided to enhance the understanding of the material.

Project Portal
a. Legal Papers Kraus-Samek (Vienna City Library, Sammlung Prozessakten Oskar Samek / Karl Kraus, ZPH 1545)
b. Intertextuality in the Legal Papers of Karl Kraus – A Scholarly Digital Edition