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DepositNetwork Analysis Between Distant Reading and Close Reading

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.

DepositBradbury, Technology, and the Future of Reading

Ádám T. Bogár and Rebeka Sára Szigethy look from the world of Fahrenheit 451, where reading is forbidden, to our wide-open world of the present, and into the future as well. Networked reading among groups of people and near-infinite searchability linked out from electronic texts themselves offer interesting new possibilities for personal and social enrichment. Still, as Bogár and Szigethy note, in a world where every file looks like every other until opened, a stubborn few of us nevertheless will prefer physical books that “smell like nutmeg or some spice from a foreign land…”