A Case in Transit: Reading Diderot (Reading Montaigne) Reading Augustine
Post articles or tell us about something you have read recently that would be of interest to this group.
Based on an allegorical interpretation of Robert Rauschenberg’s “Erased de Kooning,” this article argues for “reading” as what Foucault referred to as a possible “socialist governmentality.”
The advent of “distant reading” methods has created the opportunity to look at texts in a new way. But with the shift from close to distant reading, there is also a danger of loosing sight of fine-grained text structure. Like any method, distant reading methodology is not theoretically neutral, but carries a bundle of presuppositions. In this paper, a new method of text network analysis is proposed as a bridge between close and distant reading. Network analysis as a methodological basis offers two advantages: Firstly, it links methodology to theoretical perspectives that highlight relational aspects of linguistic, historical and social phenomena. Secondly, it allows humanities scholars to participate in the interdisciplinary field of network research and to benefit from available methods and tools. The proposed methodology of text-based network generation links close and distant reading in two ways. By building on syntactical structures, the networks resemble closely the linguistic structure of text. And by linking network data and text passages, the method allows to go back and forth between a distant view of the textand its close reading. The method is discussed using Novalis’ essay from 1799 “Die Christenheit oder Europa” as an example.
A short reading for you from Pamela Fox. It is called “The Funeral of Dead Projects” (https://medium.com/@pamelafox/the-funeral-of-dead-projects-8fc9911bff00) and encourages us to say goodbye to projects.
How and why do we read? And what is the relationship between academic reading and the reading we do for pleasure? This course is divided into two parts. The first part, on critical reading, surveys some of the most influential critical approaches in recent decades, including structuralism, Marxism, psychoanalysis, deconstruction, feminism, postcolonialism, and queer theory. In the second half, we will explore everyday experiences of reading that are either ignored or treated with suspicion in literary theory: identification and recognition; empathy; enchantment and self-loss; horror and shock; fandom and the pleasure of collective reading. The goal of the course is to explore the similarities and differences between reading inside and outside the classroom and the emotional as well as intellectual dimensions of interpretation.
Literary scholars’ conversations about distant reading have spent too much time pitting it against close reading, and not enough time understanding connections to other disciplines. Distant reading is better understood as part of a methodological shift that has permitted humanists and social scientists to build stronger interdisciplinary connections.