Purchase Soundtrack: Performed by Voices of Music
Corelli: Concerti grossi (12), Op. 6: no 8 in G minor “Christmas” : IV – Adagio – Allegro – Adagio
Often when I’m reading something, I come across a quote and wonder what the writer or speaker said the sentence or two prior to the quotation. In other words — what was the context of the quote?
Example: Intertextual Citation in the Bible
I first got the idea for Neotext while reading an account of the temptation of Jesus in Matthew 4:
The tempter came and said to him, “If you are the Son of God, command these stones to become loaves of bread.” 4 But he answered, “It is written,
one does not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of the Lord
To many Christians, this is a familiar passage, yet few recognize Jesus’s response as a quote from Deuteronomy.
If you click on the red arrows above, you will notice that the text expands to show those sections of Deuteronomy 8 that precede and succeed the portion Jesus quoted.
Inline quotation with the <q> tag: Popup Windows
In addition to extendeding <blockquote> quotations, it is possible to do inline quotations with the <q> tag. As an example, click below on the red underlined text: “Love your enemies”:
Suppose you were writing an essay and quoted Jesus saying
Love your enemies. Normally, on the web you can create an html link, but using the Neotext Wordpress plugin, it is just as easy to turn the red text into a contextual popup that displays the surrounding text.
Actual html markup of the above passage:
Suppose you were writing an essay and quoted Jesus saying <q cite=”https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Matthew+5″>Love your enemies</q>. Normally on the web ..
The “<q>” tag is for quoted text within a paragraph (inline), while the “blockquote” tag is used for a quote that is broken out into its own separate paragraph.
Imagine if all the intertextual quotations in important works, such as the bible, were made manifest and expandable using Neotext.
More Examples: <q> tag: Popup Windows
A. So did Al Gore really claim to have invented the internet?
(Click on the red-letter inline-quote below to view the contextual popup.)
The “Al Gore invented the internet” meme originated from an interview Gore did on March 8, 1999 with CNN’s Wolf Blitzer. The quote in question is:
I took the initiative in creating the Internet. Granted, Gore’s response was self-serving, and poorly phrased, but it was off the cuff; and if you look at the context, he wasn’t claiming to have invented the internet. Rather, just as one could say Dwight Eisenhower took the initiative in creating the interstate highway system, Gore was alluding to the fact that while he was a congressman, he was the prime sponsor of the 1991 “High-Performance Computing and Communications Act“, which, among other things, paid for Netscape founder Marc Andreessen to create the Mosaic browser, which became Netscape, and then eventually re-emerged as Firefox.
B. Why hast thou forsaken me:
Have you ever wondered why in Matthew 27 Jesus cried out:
45 From noon on, darkness came over the whole land[p] until three in the afternoon. 46 And about three o’clock Jesus cried with a loud voice, “Eli, Eli, lema sabachthani?” that is,My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?
Scholars say that the story of Jesus’s crucifixion has parallels with Psalm 22.
Neotext can be used to for both religious and secular writing, as it can quote any public html website (pdf is currently unsupported). The prior biblical examples cited texts on biblegateway.com; and the Al Gore example referenced an article on the washingtonpost.com.
Using Neotext allows the reader to more easily make the intertextual connections between the two verses, without having to leave the current page.
How the Neotext Quote-Context Service Works
The example I’ve given you is made possible through a WordPress Plugin that operates on the html <blockquote> tag:
<blockquotecite=”https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Deuteronomy+8&version=NRSV”>one does not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of the Lord</blockquote>
As part of the wordpress saving process, the WordPress Plugin submits the url of the post to the Neotext Web Service, which looks up the surrounding context of each quote and creates json files for each citation. Each quote’s citation file is uploaded to Amazon S3 for later retreival by the client.
On the client side, the Neotext custom jQuery library:
- uses the url from each blockquote “cite” attribute and the quote
- hashes the url and quote text
- looks up the previously generated json from the hash:
- injects the content from the json fields into hidden divs,
- which are made visible when the user clicks the arrows or link:
Get simplified html source of this page
- Download neotext-sample.html (view online)
- Save the html file to your server, giving it a unique name like:
- Generate the Neotext json file by entering your page’s URL in the generator.
- a json file with be uploaded to Amazon S3 for each quote on the page.
- Reload your page. You should notice the arrows appear on the blockquote; and you should get a contextual popup if you click on “Love your enemies”.