Reading by the Numbers: When Big Data Meets Literature

November 11, 2017

Reading by the Numbers: When #BigData Meets Literature Distant reading as a complement to close reading for literary texts. Perhaps a useful dichotomy for biosequences too!

“Literary criticism typically tends to emphasize the singularity of exceptional works that have stood the test of time. But the canon, Mr. Moretti argues, is a distorted sample. Instead, he says, scholars need to consider the tens of thousands of books that have been forgotten, a task that computer algorithms and enormous digitized databases have now made possible.

“We know how to read texts,” he wrote in a much-quoted essay included in his book “Distant Reading,” which won the 2014 National Book Critics Circle Award for Criticism. “Now let’s learn how to not read them.””