Network Theory

“When it comes to phenomena of language and style, we can do things that previous generations could only dream of…when it comes to language and style. But if you work on novels or plays, style is only part of the picture. What about plot – how can that be quantified? This paper is the beginning of an answer, and the beginning of the beginning is network theory. This is a theory that studies connections within large groups of objects…”

As several of my classmates have mentioned, the spatial study of literature as described by Moretti marks the shift of our focus from digital techniques to the humanities. We go beyond simply looking at the number of times a word occurs or the way the text is arranged on the page, and instead look at the words themselves and how they fall into the bigger-picture narrative that is at play in the piece.

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