Robert Musil Literary Remains Databank
PEP 1.0

Table of Contents:

  1. Introduction
  2. Getting Started
  3. Selecting Documents
    1. First Level
    2. Second Level
  4. Editing the Referenzliste
  5. Saving Your List
  6. Reading Texts
  7. Searching
  8. Printing
  9. Options
  10. Additional Help
  11. Glossary
    1. German-English
    2. English-German


Robert Musil (1880-1942), the Austrian utopian novelist and essayist, wrote two unsuccessful plays, two novels, one, The Man Without Qualities, unfinished, and many shorter works. Since his death, work has progressed in collecting and editing his literary remains. In 1990, a group of scholars at the Klagenfurt University School of Education, in Musil's home town, began, with the help of the Finanzierung des Fonds zur Förderung wissenschaftlicher Forschung in Österreich (the Fund for the Advancement of Scholarly Research in Austria) to develop software for text retrieval from fulltext databases using personal computers. The result of this work is PEP (Das Philologische Erschliessungsprogramm für die Transkription und Dokumentation des Nachlass von Robert Musil. The linguistic selection program for the transcription and documentation of the literary remains of Robert Musil. The acronym is extracted from Philologische ErschliessungsProgramm.)

The textbase reproduces the literary remains of Robert Musil in two planes: the transcription of the collected manuscripts is a precise rendering of each individual sheet of the manuscript; the accompanying information about the physical composition and state of the Musil manuscripts is a precise description of each document including such items as the type and composition of the paper, the kind of writing implement and color of the writing, the author and the published source. An intermediate result of the selection process of is a list of manuscripts with references to each edition.

The program offers multi-faceted (flexible) possibilities of combining and then searching the contents and accompanying information about the state of the Musil manuscripts.

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Getting Started

To access Musil, you need to go to the Start menu on any of the Windows NT machines at LETRS. Select LETRS ELECTRONIC TEXTS. A new window will appear with a desktop view of the server. In the new window, go again to the Start menu and select Electonic Texts. Then choose Musil from the sub-menu.

Once you select the program you will see a title screen with credits and a psychadelic PEP in the middle. Press any key to access the main screen. On that screen you will find a menu bar across the top with six menu headings: Datei, Referenzliste, Lesen, Recherche, Drucken, Optionen. Throughout this QuickGuide, references to choices on the screen will be entered in German so you will be able to find them; explanations of the functions will be in English and a glossary is available. (The interface is entirely in German.)

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Selecting Documents

To search or read any text from the textbase, you must first select documents from it; the texts you select will make up your Referenzliste. Referenzlisten may be edited, saved or restored by using the Referenzliste menu. You may select all the texts in the base, but you should remember that a search of the full textbase can easily take seven minutes or more, maybe much more. To select the texts for your Referenzliste, select the Datei menu (click on the menu with the left mouse button or press Alt-D) and then Auswahl ( point and press the left mouse button or press [Rtn] because it is already highlighted or press "a"); this will open the first level of a two level selection window.

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First Level

The first level allows you to choose one or more of the Mappengruppen (these are groups of portfolios). You may highlight all of them by clicking with the left mouse button on the first line or highlight them one at a time using the other lines. To remove the highlight from a line, point with the mouse and click with the right mouse button. Or you may use the arrow keys to point to a line and the [Ins] and [Del] keys to highlight or unhighlight it respectively. The Kaiser/Wilkins pagination forms the foundation for the organization of textual material in the database. Robert Musil's literary remains were arranged by Ernst Kaiser and Eithne Wilkins into eight Mappengruppen (directories), 63 Mappen (files) and about 8000 manuscript pages. The diary-copy books are arranged in this scheme in a separate Mappengruppe. For a few parts of the remains (copies, catalogue books, cigarette note books . . .) a separate ninth directory was created. In all, the remains consist of 12,048 pages. Of those, 11,686 pages are included in this edition. 362 pages in four portfolios with drafts of letters, which are published in the Letters of Adolf Frisé, are not included here.

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Second Level

To open the second level, which allows you to select individual Mappen (portfolios) click on a highlighted line in the first level window (or double click on an unhighlighted one, simultaneously highlighting it and opening the subsidiary window). To open the second level using the keyboard, place the cursor on a line and press [Ins] to highlight it and again [Ins] to open the subsidiary window (this is very logical in that it mirrors the use of the left mouse button precisely).

The second level allows you to select all the Mappen of a given Mappengruppe by selecting the first line, or an individual Mappe using subsequent lines. To return to the higher level window, press [Esc] or point to the higher level window with the mouse and click with the right mouse button. Using the right mouse button will have no effect unless the arrow is in the higher level window (at that time a message appears at the bottom of the screen) and using the left mouse button will not get you back to the higher level window no matter where you point. You will be able to choose individual manuscript pages when you edit the Referenzliste.

At any time, while you are working in either of the Datei/Auswahl windows, if you have selected one or more Mappe, pressing return or clicking on the graphic button labeled "Enter" Referenzliste erzeugen (compile search list) will exit the whole selection process and prepare a Referenzliste of all the Mappen that were highlighted when you exited. Using the Datei/Auswahl menus you may select: the whole literary remains, one directory, additional directories, one portfolio of one directory, additional portfolios of one directory, additional portfolios of various directories.

It is recommended that you select only one or a few portfolios when you want to retrieve information about given subject. Each restriction of the domain shortens the search time and simplifies the result.

Use the left mouse button, or "Ins" key, to select a Mappengruppe and the right mouse button, or "Del" key to deselect it. You may double click with the left button, or "Ins" key, to refine your selection by choosing one or more Mappen (portfolios) from the Mappengruppe. When you do this another selection window opens to allow you to make the selection. The selection process is the same as for the Mappengruppen.

Important: to quit the Mappen window, use the "Esc" key or click the right mouse button while pointing to the Mappengruppen window. (When you do point to the Mappengruppen window, a message appears at the bottom of the screen saying: back to the choice of Mappengruppen: click on this entry with the right mouse button. The line at the bottom of the screen seems to indicate the effect of the mouse at any given time. When the mouse is turned off, there is no message there.)

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Editing the Referenzliste

Once you have selected a number of Mappen and compiled them into a Referenzliste, you may proceed to search for words that interest you, or you may refine your Referenzliste. To refine your Referenzliste choose "Referenzliste" from the menu bar or type "r"; a pop-down menu will appear with five items to choose from:

You may use this menu to edit, store and retrieve Referenzlisten. To edit the list, choose Bearbeiten or type "b". You may select any page from the list and highlight it with the mouse or the keyboard by pointing at it with the cursor or the arrow and using the [Ins] and [Del] keys or the left and right mouse buttons respectively to select or deselect it. There seems to be no way to select more than one page with a single command. Once you have selected one or more pages in this way, you may remove them from your list by pressing "Enter" or clicking on the graphic key labeled "Enter" and Ausgewählte Seite(n) löschen. There is no way to add pages to an existing list. You may remove pages from a list by editing and by using the search commands.

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Saving your list

To save your list, choose Speichern from the Referenzliste menu. You will see a window with the title "Referenzliste speichern" containing two lines Dateipfad (path) and Dateiname (filename) and two graphic buttons labeled "F4", "Ausführen" (continue) and "Esc", "Beenden" (quit). There is a small data entry area after Dateiname to enter the name of the file you wish to use to store your list. Using the up and down arrow keys, or the mouse, you may move from the Dateiname line to the Dateipfad line, even though this is not apparent at first glance. "F4", "Ausführen" will save your file, "Esc", Beenden will abort the process.

Laden oder Löschen will allow you to load or delete saved files of Referenzliste. Letzte zurückholen and Vorletzte zurückholen allow you to retrieve recently active lists quickly.

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Reading Texts

The next menu: Lesen will allow you to read the text or description of the selected manuscript pages. It has two items: Text and Seitendocumentation (page description). Text will display the transcribed text from the page, Seitendocumentation shows a formal description of the composition and condition of that page. Either window has a menu button in the top left hand corner; click on it or type [Alt-X] to open the menu. From a page of transcription the following menu opens:

Fussnote..........................View footnote
Nächste Seite...................Next page
Vorhergehende Seite.......Previous page
Gehe zu Seite...................Go to page
Titelblatt.........................Title page (of the Mappe)
Suche ausschalten...........Turn search off
Gehe zu Marke................Go to bookmark
Seitendocumentation.......Switch to page description (see note below)
Seite Drucken..................Print page (does not work)
Farbauswahl...................Choose colors

The bolded characters indicate the key that will invoke the menu item, if you wish to use the keyboard instead of the mouse. While the menu is popped down, they will work only if you press that key and no other. When the menu is closed, you may invoke the item by pressing [Alt] and the indicated key; this possibility is indicated by the "Alt- " entry on the right hand side of each line of the menu. From a screen of page description the following window opens:

MENU ITEM.....................EXPLANATION
Nächste Seite............................Next page
Vorhergehende Seite................Previous page
Gehe zu Seite............................Go to page
Text lesen..................................Switch to read the text (see note below)
Seitendocumentation Drucken..Print page documentation (does not work)

Note: You may switch from reading the text to reading the page description or vice versa using these menus or the associated keys, but if you do, the menu changes in two ways:

  1. The entry allowing you to switch to the other mode becomes inactive, indicated by color;
  2. The last entry changes from Ende (quit) to Zurück (back) allowing you only to exit via the other mode. Note also that in "switched" mode the exit key ([Alt-X]) will not respond, you must use the back key ([Alt-Z]).

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The Recherche menu has two entries: Volltextsuche and Kombinierte Suche. Volltextsuche allows you to perform a simple search of the transcribed text of the manuscript; Kombinierte Suche performs a power search of both the text and the page description using normalized indices and marked up fields. There are words, such as adverbs, pronouns and numbers, for which you may not search using Kombinierte Suche, because they are not in any of the indices, but you may only search for single strings with Volltextsuche. With Kombinierte Suche, you may search for the author, type of paper, writing instrument, publication, dating, as well as tropes, references concepts, verbs, nouns and adjectives. The manual points out that Kombinierte Suchen are quick but uneven; words may have been left out of the indices or misentered.

The result of each search, of either type, is a number of pages together with their descriptions containing the search terms. After a Volltextsuche, the lines containing instances of the search terms are marked with a right-pointing triangle in the left hand margin and the first instance on each manuscript page will be aligned with the top of the screen when you shift to that page; to find the next mark, and consequently the next hit on that page, use [Alt-M] or the mouse. You may press [Alt-S] (or use the mouse) to select the search function and then enter a search term to find something else on the pages in your Referenzliste. Such a search will change the marks on every page of your list. If you page to a new page the first line will contain the first hit, just as it would have for the original search. If you page to a new page that has no hit, you will see a pop up window stating: "Keine Fundstelle auf dieser Seite" (no hit on this page). Each time you want to make a new search, you must enter your search term, as the program clears the field each time you invoke it. The Kombinierte Suche will search footnotes as well as the page description which the Volltextsuche and the local search will not do. Interestingly, the Kombinierte Suche will not find Blaustift (blue pencil) in the page description if you enter blau as an adjective, but it will find it in a footnote where several writing implements are used and the usage is recorded in footnotes.

Note that while the Volltextsuche will not allow compound searches, the fact that the result of each search is a new Referenzliste, including only pages with hits from the previous search, will allow you to refine your search in very complicated ways and to combine the results of both kinds of searches. You may also edit the Referenzliste directly, in case you want to eliminate one or more pages from your list. It is not possible to add pages to a list; the result of both editing and searching is to delete pages from the existing list. The result of any use of the database is a Referenzliste of manuscript pages.

The Volltextsuche search engine allows various forms of truncation and wildcards. By default, searches are case sensitive. To search for a string of characters type the characters and press enter. To search for a word, precede and follow the word with spaces to prevent the search string being found embedded in a longer word. For example, if you search for "blau""Ablauf" among your hits. If, on the other hand, you were to search for " blau ", you would only find blau.

You may link two or more search criteria and terms with "und" (and), "oder" (or) and "nicht" (not). The or is inclusive, meaning that a search for "A" oder "B" will find a page with either "A" or "B" or "A" and "B".

Wild card searching

[Ctrl-b] is the wild card to replace a single character and [Ctrl-w] is the wild card to replace any character or string of characters; so " [Ctrl-b]istorisch" (note the space at the beginning) will find words that start with "Historisch" or "historisch" (or any other initial letter, if such a word is to be found in the literary remains) and would return "historischen" as well as "Historisch". Similarly "[Ctrl-b]roblem" will search for any word with "roblem" in it. To accommodate abbreviations of names, for example, you could enter "[Spc]Ag[Ctrl-w][Spc]sagte" to find "Agathe sagte" or "Ag. sagte" or "Ag sagte". ("Strg-b" is the German indication for [Ctrl-b] and is displayed along with "Strg-w" and "Strg-v" at the bottom of the screen to remind you when entering a wild card is appropriate. "[Spc]" represents a space.)

Adjacency searching

[Ctrl-v] may be used to limit the distance between two search terms. The distance is measured in lines, so that "Brief[Ctrl-v]3[Ctrl-v]Vater" will search for "Brief" (letter) and then verify that "Vater" (father) is to be found in the following three lines. It is possible to enter a negative number in-between two [Ctrl-v]s, and it seems to look for the second term before the first.

Searching with special characters

[Alt-X] where "X" is a number from 0 to 255 will enter the extended IBM character that corresponds to that decimal number. Thus [Alt-229] will enter a Greek lower case sigma.

You may use mark-up codes in your search, thus: "::Beilage" will search for "Beilage" at the beginning of a marginal note.

You may include text attributes (underlining, superscript, subscript, double underlining, and Musil's notation for emphasis). "@1" and "@2" denote the beginning and ending of underlining. "@3" and "@4" denote the beginning and ending of superscript. "@5" and "@6" denote the beginning and ending of subscript. "@7" and "@8" denote the beginning and ending of double underlining. "@9" and "@0" denote the beginning and ending of Musil's emphasis. In that way, to use the example given in the manual, you could search for the underlined chapter heading "34" by entering "@134@2".

Searching by date

Enter a date in the "TAQN" field to limit your search to manuscript pages after that date. Musil encodes dates in an efficient year-month-day format so that "30" will include dates from the beginning of 1930, "3006" will include dates from the beginning of June 1930 and 300701 will include dates from the first of July 1930.

Enter a date in the "TPQN" field to limit your search to manuscript pages before that date. You may enter dates in both the TAQN and TPQN, fields which will limit your search to the dates between the two values. If you enter the same year, month or day in both fields, your search will be limited to that year, month or day.

Searching by fields

The Kennung field tries to normalize Musil's coding of various features of the manuscripts. Page references are usually multi-part, and the use of this field to search is explained in, page 55 of the manual (call number: PT2625.U85A6 1992 manual.)

Name, Figur, Verweis, Begriff, Verb and Adjektiv (name, characters, reference, concept, verb and adjective) are fields that allow fast searching using pre-established indices. Name denotes geographic place names, historical and contemporary persons, and literary characters who do not come from the work of Musil. Figur denotes the names of persons introduced in Musil's work; the search form is the simplest unabbreviated meaningful form of the name. Verweis denotes references to specific manuscripts; Musil's complicated reference coding system has been standardized to facilitate the use of meaningful search terms. Begriff denotes generally substantive nouns; the nominative singular form should be entered as the search term. For nominalized adjectives and verbs (participles) you should enter the root word (adjective or verb). Verb will look for the various forms of verbs whose infinitive is entered. Adjektiv will allow searching for declined adjectives, comparatives, superlatives and adverbal adjectival forms.

The organization of the literary remains is quite complicated, and the structured search possibilities are vast. Using the Kombinierte Suche allows you to reference the page description as well as the normalized indices which are described at length in the user's reference manual.

Once you have completed your search, you must select the Lesen menu and then Texte or Seitendokumentation to read the results. After a search your Referenzliste will contain only those pages which contain the terms and match the criteria from your previous search, the others will have been deleted. You may further refine your list by performing another search, or save it using the Referenzliste menu. If you want to start over after an abortive search, use the Letzte zurückholen (previous choice) entry in the Referenzliste menu. This may sometimes be confusing, as there is no indication of which list you are using. If you make two successive abortive searches, you may use Vorletzte zurückholen (next to last choice) to go back to the original. It is possible to execute the Vorletzte zurückholen command twice to go back further than the next-to-last list.

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Drucken is the name of the printing menu. Under Drucken you will find four choices: Texte, Seitendokumentation, Texte und Seitendokumentation, and Referenzliste, which will initiate printing of the transcribed text, the page description or both, or the search list. Choosing any one of these entries will open a window with a line of text at the top, followed by a line containing a number, followed by the word Seiten; these lines advise you of the number of manuscript pages in your Referenzliste which will be printed. The next line tells you to load paper and put the printer on line. The box to the lower left labeled "Enter" will cause the list to be printed; the one to the lower right labeled "Esc" will abort the printing process.

Note: at the present time, printing actually happens only when you exit Musil, so please do not try it several times. Also note that the Musil archive is quite large and it is easy to ask it to print hundreds of manuscript pages which may take up several letter-sized pages each. Please limit your printing at first, and only print what you really will use.

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The Optionen menu has three entries: Maus: ein/aus, Systemkonfiguration and Fensterfarben ändern. Maus: will be followed by either "ein" or "aus" depending on whether the mouse is enabled (ein) or disabled (aus). Click on the entry to toggle the function. Systemkonfiguration means system configuration, and Fensterfarben ändern serves to change the colors.

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Additional Help

There is a comprehensive manual explaining the Musil databank, written in German, available in the LETRS Documentation Collection (call number: PT2625.U85A6 1992 manual).

In addition to the manual, Musil supplies an abbreviated user documentation in the last line of the screen. The information is placed on the chosen position on the screen. [The documentation depends on the position of the cursor on the screen.] The user will be informed whether a command for example a search is run successfully or not, by a message in a message window. User errors will be signaled in the same way.

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Glossary of Commands, Functions, and Words

In preparing this list we have tried to locate the terms in a standard computer dictionary or a general German-English dictionary. Some meanings have been derived from the context of the Musil database and may not be translated precisely.


<-|  ("Enter" key)			confirms a choice
< >  (arrow keys)			horizontal movement keys
^  v  (arrow keys)			vertical movement keys
anklicken				click (mouse)
ausführen				continue
Auswahl					selection, option, choice
Auswahlbildschirm			option screen
Auswahlfelder				selection fields
Auswahlfenster				selection window
bearbeiten				compile, edit
Bedienung				command
Bedienungsanleitung			command documentation
Bedienungsfehler			command (entry) error
Beispiel				example
Benutzer				user
Bereich					area, domain, range, entry
Bild					picture, the contents of the text window
Bildschirm				screen
Bildschirmfarben			screen colors
blättern				page verb
Briefkonzepte				letter drafts
Datei					file, data
Dateiname				filename
Dateipfad				path
Drucken					print, press (a key)
eine Mappe einer Mappengruppe		one portfolio of one directory
eine Mappengruppe			one directory
EINF (abbr. of Einfügetaste)       	insert key. Also to mark for 
selection or deletion etc.
Einfügetaste                       	insert key
Einschränkung                      	restriction
Empfehlung				recommendation
Ende					close
ENTF					delete key. Also, to unmark for selection or deletion etc.
erfahren				fail
erfolgreich				successful
erfolglos				unsuccessful
Ergebnis				amount, count, result
erläutern				explain, illustrate
Erschliessungsbereich			selection domain, chosen entry/document
Erschliessungsschritte			selection process
erschlossen				opened
ESC					Escape key.  To undo a selection
Evidenz					safety, backup
Farbe					color
Fensterfarben				window colors
fertig					ready, done
festlegen				determine
Funktionstasten				function keys
gelöscht				deleted
gemeinsam				together
geordnet				arranged
gesamter Nachlass			the whole literary remains database
Hefte					notebooks
Hilfe					help
hinsichtlich				concerning
Information über PEP			information about the production of data and program development 
KW					pagination scheme of Ernst Kaiser and Eithne Wilkins
Kombinierte Suche			Combination search of several pre-determined fields
laden					load
lesen					get, read
Letzte					last
Letzte zurückholen			previous choice
löschen					clear, delete, erase, kill
Löschtaste				delete key
Mappe					portfolio, file
Mappengruppe				directory
Maus Aus/Ein				to turn the mouse functions on and off
Mausbedienung				use of the mouse
mehrere Mappen einer Mappengruppe	several portfolios of one directory
mehrere Mappen verscheidener Mappengruppen	several portfolios of various directories 
mehrere Mappengrüppe			several directories
Meldungsfenster				message window
Menuleiste				menu bar
Nachlass				literary remains
nächste Seite				next page
Optionen				options
Paginierung				pagination (follows KW)
Pfeiltasten				arrow keys
Programm beenden			quit the program
Recherche				search
Referenzliste				reference list
Referenzliste erzeugen			compile search list
Seite					manuscript page
Seitendokumentation			page documentation
Seitendokumentationbildschirm		page documentation screen
Speichern				memory, storage
Standardeinstellungen			default options
Strg (abbr.)				Ctrl (control) key
Systemkonfiguration			system configuration
Tagebuch				diary
Tastatur				keyboard
Taste					key
Tastenanschlag				key stroke
Textbildschirm				text screen
Überblick				overview
Übersicht				reference, summary
umfasst					contains
Volltextsuche				full text search
vorhergehende Seite			previous page
Vorletzte zurückholen			next to last choice
Zeichen					character
Zeichenfolge				sequence of characters
zu DOS					temporary switch from the Musil
					   database to the DOS operating system, for
					   example to copy data; return
					   by typing "Exit"
zurück                     	        back
zurückholen                        	recall


<-|  ("Enter" key)			confirms a choice
< >  (arrow keys)			horizontal movement keys
^  v  (arrow keys)			vertical movement keys
arrow keys				Pfeiltasten
back					zurück
choice					Auswahl
clear					löschen
click (mouse)				anklicken
close					Ende
command					Bedienung
command (entry) error			Bedienungsfehler
compile					bearbeiten
compile search list			Referenzliste erzeugen
continue				ausführen
Ctrl (control) key			Strg (abbr.)
data					Datei
default	options				Standardeinstellungen
delete					löschen
delete key				ENTF (abbr.), Löschtaste
deleted					gelöscht
determine				festlegen
diary					Tagebuch
done					fertig
edit					bearbeiten
entry					Bereich
erase					löschen
explain					erläutern
fail					erfahren
filename				Dateiname
full text search			Volltextsuche
function keys				Funktionstasten
help					Hilfe
illustrate				elaütern
insert key				EINF (abbr.), Einfügetaste
key					Taste
key stroke				Tastenanschlag
keyboard				Tastatur
last					Letzte
letter drafts				Briefkonzepte
literary remains			Nachlass
load					laden
menu bar				Menüleiste
message window				Meldungsfenster
mouse					Maus
next page				nächste Seite
next to last choice			Vorletzte zurückholen
opened					erschlossen
option screen				Auswahlbildschirm
options					Optionen
overview				Überblick
page documentation			Seitendokumentation
pagination				Paginierung
path					Dateipfad
previous choice				Letzte zurückholen
previous page				vorhergehende Seite
print					Drucken
quit					Programm beenden
read					lesen
ready					fertig
recommendation				Empfehlung
reference list				Referenzliste
restriction				Einschränkung
result					Ergebnis
safety, backup				Evidenz
screen					Bildschirm
screen colors				Bildschirmfarben
search					Recherche
selection				Auswahl
selection domain			Erschliessungsbereich
selection fields			Auswahlfelder
selection process			Erschliessungsschritte
selection window			Auswahlfenster
storage					Speichern
successful				erfolgreich
summary					Übersicht
system configuration			Systemkonfiguration
text screen				Testbildschirm
unsuccessful				erfolglos
user					Benutzer
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Last Updated: 09/17/96
Comments: Library Electronic Text Resource Service /
Indiana University