Curiosities

“What’d You Major In?” “Big Literary Data.”

By posted at 10:00 am on June 24, 2013 1

John Sunyer checks in with Franco Moretti at the Stanford Literary Lab. Moretti, a 63-year-old professor of English, is the author of Distant Reading – a book in which he lays out his long-held belief that “literary study doesn’t require scholars to actually read the books.” Rather, he believes in a “new approach to literature [that] depends on computers to crunch ‘big data,’ or stores of massive amounts of information, to produce new insights.”





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One Response to ““What’d You Major In?” “Big Literary Data.””

  1. Maureen Murphy
    at 10:17 am on June 24, 2013

    Wow. That is incredibly depressing.

    During my ill-advised attempt to major in pre-med, I dissected an annelid worm to learn about its anatomy and ended up with a mushy mess. Reminds me of this.

    Went to see an absolutely wonderful film “The Reluctant Fundamentalist” recently. There is a scene set in Istanbul. The lead character’s New York investment company has come to evaluate a struggling Turkish publishing company for a possible takeover and asset sale. One of the investment bankers comments that he had “evaluated” several other publishing companies during a meeting with the local publisher. The latter commented (to paraphrase) ‘So you think you can you evaluate me?” There are a million implications in the way the actor delivered that line.

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