Man-Again: Breathing new life into James Clarence Mangan’s Wikipedia Entry for #EditWikiLit

For the recent Wikipedia Editathon I chose to freshen up the entry for Irish poet James Clarence Mangan. This assignment was particularly well-timed because I have been reading into Mangan’s faux-oriental translations for my thesis and editing the Wikipedia page helped me structure some of my general background readings on Mangan.

To begin with, Mangan’s page was not quite a stub, but it left a lot to be desired. I can’t say I blame the original author. Mangan is a bit of an enigma. Please click here to see the full page as I found it.

I came into the assignment a little overwhelmed. There was (and still is) a lot of the page I feel needs improvement. Primarily, however, I thought the pages sloppy citations and poor structure were its greatest shortcomings. How could an author’s biography really be broken down into only two section: Early Life and Literary Career?

This really is most of the original page

So, I decided that for the in class session I would focus on reorganizing the page, while fleshing out the skeletal information provided. I think the most important thing I added during the Editathon session was a section devoted to Mangan’s reception and legacy. The original version of the page only addressed Mangan’s reception in a disorganized peppering of information throughout the existing “Literary Career” section. By collecting that information in one section (and adding some needed details and sources), I think I made the page much more useful.

I also had a chance to contemplate Mangan’s critics

Admittedly, I was a little nervous during the session. My computer was struggling to connect to the internet and this created some technical difficulties. The page did not update correctly as I worked on it (mostly problems with inputting sources) and, most frighteningly, refused to save my changes. This certainly slowed my progress.

Luckily, I left my page open and saved my changes in another building after class.

I guess the surest sign that the assignment was a success is I kept editing the page after class. While I only added the Reception and Legacy section in class, I decided to add a few more details, as well as a Style section. The page still isn’t perfect, but I am very proud to have made the page more useful to students, and wiki-addicts everywhere.


Or, of course, you could get your information straight from the horse’s mouth:


One thought on “Man-Again: Breathing new life into James Clarence Mangan’s Wikipedia Entry for #EditWikiLit

  1. This looks good to me. It’s hard to separate out myth from reality in relation to Mangan. Seamus Deane in Strange Country suggests that, with the Autobiography, Mangan invented ‘Catholic Nationalist Gothic’ – might be a useful thing to add to the page at some stage?


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