Cover for JOCKERS: Macroanalysis: Digital Methods and Literary History. Click for larger imageThe May 1, 2013, edition of Inside Higher Ed featured an Intellectual Affairs column on Matthew Jockers’s new book Macroanalysis: Digital Methods and Literary History.

From IHE:
Jockers uses his digital tools to analyze novels by, essentially, crunching  them–determining what words appear in each book, tabulating the frequency with which they are used, likewise quantifying the punctuation marks, and working out patterns among the results according to the novel’s subgenre or publication date, or biographical data about the author such as gender, nationality, and regional origin.

The findings that the author reports tend to be of a very precise and  delimited sort. . . . There is a “high incidence of locative prepositions” (over, under, within, etc.) in Gothic fiction, which may be “a direct result of the genre’s being ‘place oriented.’” That sounds credible, since Gothic characters tend to find themselves moving around in dark rooms within ruined castles with secret passageways and whatnot.

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