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The Times Does Digital Humanities

As of June 24th the New York Times has announced a new column that will be focusing on a topic that will be of some interest to us all. The column, titled The Mechanic Muse, pays homage to the literary critic Hugh Kenner and it will focus on the intersection of literature, science, and technology. The first article penned under this column is a very interesting account of some work being done by Franco Moretti at the Stanford Literary Lab. Moretti is using computerized data analysis in order to interpret the genre of works of literature and to analyze the plot structure. While I am not sure how I feel about inserting computers in place of literary critics, I do think that computers should be used more when it comes to analyzing literature. They would be especially useful when it comes to finding references or allusions within texts, taking away some of the work that a researcher would have to do on his or her own. What do you think about the implications and possibilities of primarily using computers in literary criticism?    

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