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Exercise 8: Narrative form + artistic representation

1 min read

In thinking about topic modeling and metadata for a group of 18th century novels, a particular challenge for me seems to be figuring out a question to explore using these methods which is neither so large that its answer would not be particularly interesting or meaningful nor so small that it is not much different from close reading. So, in trying to both narrow down and expand my interests in genre, form, etc. I really like the idea of combining algorithmic criticism with “middle-distance reading” to find something out about a group of novels that traditional literary criticism — with its dichotomous close and distant reading — can’t really do. I would like to take a group of novels written in the third person OR in free indirect discourse and look at the topics related to or involving artistic representation in the form of writing — so mentions of books, novels, poetry, other kinds of writing — to see if any commonalities pop up and if there might some kind of relationship to be extrapolated or theorized here about narrative form and the presence of narrative artistic representations in the novels.