“Networks are made of vertices and edges; plot networks, of characters and verbal exchanges. In plays this works well, because words are deeds, deeds are almost always
words, and so, basically, a network of speech acts is a network of actions. In novels, no,
because much of what characters do and say is not uttered, but narrated, and direct discourse covers only a part of the plot – at times, a very small part.”
It took me a while to understand this passage’s meaning but here’s what I got from it.
What we’ve been working with has been the physical material of literature. Things such as word counts and paragraph spacing. With spatial analysis, we instead analyze the narratives inside the text. Instead of counting words on a page, we count words shared between characters. For example, character A could have 43 words shared with character B and character B could have 72 words said between them and character C. Not only words but character actions are taken into account too. Instead of how many words character A told to character B, how many interactions in general did character A have with B?
This is closer to the humanities side of analysis because we are going into the narrative, but we are not analyzing meanings. Even as I type this out it seems very confusing, but I hope I’m understanding this correctly. The digital strategies such as counting and indexing is applied to the elements in the text instead of the words and paragraphs that the text is made up of. So we’ve gone from the physical material analysis to the internal material of the story but only the surface of the words and the not the meaning behind them.