The “work” is part of our reading of the document: what do we mean by “work”? While Gabler and others have focused on text as document, Paul Eggert has been examining the concept of the “work”. In Securing the Past (2009), he extends the concept of the work beyond textual productions, however conceived (the “works” of Shakespeare, his Hamlet, Sonnet 100), to buildings and works of art, taking in along the way issues of forgery, authenticity, conservation and presentation. Indeed, while Eggert confines his discussion to art, architecture and literature, his arguments may apply to any object created by human agency: anything we make is a “work”. Anything we make, his last chapter argues, is subject to questions of intention, agency, authority and meaning. Across all these domains, we who read books, look at paintings, walk through historic buildings, must ask ourselves the same questions: what is it I see here; who made it and how does what I see relate to its original making; what has happened to it since its first making; how does this affect what I see?

(Robinson 2013, 118)

Contributed by Caroline. View changelog.