Analiză și literatură

Big data meets the Bard By John Sunyer


Thus, in “Style, Inc”, Moretti takes 7,000 British novels published between 1740 and 1850 and feeds them into a computer. The results reveal that books with long titles became drastically less common during this period. What happened, he wonders, to books with titles such as: The Capacity and Extent of Human Understanding; Exemplified in the Extraordinary Case of Automathes: a Young Nobleman; Who was Accidentally Left in his Infancy, Upon a Desolate Island, and Continued Nineteen Years in that Solitary State, Separate From All Human Society. A Narrative Abounding With Many Surprising Occurrences, Both Useful and Entertaining to the Reader?

There are, insists Moretti, interesting questions to be asked about the short titles that took their place. For example, why are adjectives so common in titles about mothers and fathers, but absent in titles about vampires and pirates? “By becoming short,” according to Moretti, “[titles] adopted a signifying strategy that made readers look for a unity in the narrative structure.” This is an important stylistic development – “a perceptual shift which has persisted for 200 years…Literary history would tell you to expect Charles Dickens, Thomas Hardy and Mark Twain to be at the top of the list,” says Jockers. But the data revealed that Sir Walter Scott and Jane Austen had the greatest effect on other authors, in terms of writing style and themes.”