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Date Posted: 13:21:03 07/28/08 Mon
Author: Sophist
Subject: A Modest Proposal

I wasn't planning on mentioning this yet, but Doc's post below made a comment about academic reviews of Joss's work, so this seemed an appropriate time.

What I have in mind is re-creating, in somewhat different form, the Annotated Buffy project which Rob previously hosted. Let me explain how I envision it and what I've done so far.

What I want to do is create a site (I'd prefer if Masq would host it here, but I haven't asked her yet) which combines annotations and essays. I've actually gone through transcripts of the BtVS episodes and done two things:

1. Provided hyperlinks to cultural references and some idioms. For example, when the Master said (The Wish) "What news on the Rialto?", I linked to The Merchant of Venice, Act 3, sc. 1. I also included links to all the pop culture references I caught -- my God, the Trio made a lot of them -- and to the bands which played in The Bronze.

2. Used footnotes to indicate when later episodes made reference to earlier ones (not vice versa -- I wanted to avoid spoilers for those who may not have seen the show before). For example, in Selfless, when Buffy called out Xander on his lie, I linked back to the scene in Becoming 2 (page and line number).

That's all nice, but I'd like to add much more. In my mind's eye, the series will begin with an introductory essay explaining the project and providing an overview of the series (again, no spoilers, just themes and philosophy). The episode transcripts would follow, each with its own essay(s) talking about whatever people want to discuss about it (spoilers through that ep only). Each season would also have beginning and ending essays (spoilers to that point only).

There will also be a character section. Essays could touch on any aspect of a particular character, whether overall or in any particular season (spoilers allowed here). Essays could also discuss general topics such as the soul canon, the use of magic, etc.

As you can see, this is a LOT of work. I'm looking for people who want to participate. Some of the work to do is creative (write essays); some is editorial (go through the archives and find good posts to which we can link); some is proofreading (I'm sure I missed some pop culture references, made some typos, or something else when I did the bare bones annotations described above).

For now, I see this as limited to BtVS. That's in substantial part because of the amount of work involved. If others want to expand the project to include AtS or Fray or the comics generally, that seems like a good idea to me.

Anyway, that's my grandiose plan to take over Sunnydale. Anyone want to join in?

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