Moretti’s “Network Theory, Plot Analysis” and periodicals?

Justine Price recently posted about a Franco Moretti interview about using network analysis as a tool for literary study (Thanks, Justine!).  He’s published a piece on this in the most recent New Left Review, but there’s a longer version of the article with more material available at the Stanford Literary Lab’s website, where they refer to it a pamphlet  number 2.  If you haven’t read the Lab’s first pamphlet, on quantitative formalism, it presents  a pretty fascinating way to think about genre.

Neither pamphlet (Why do they call them pamphlets?  Moretti’s Victorian training? At least they didn’t call them tracts) discusses periodicals, but both of them pose tantalizing ways to think about the the field of periodical studies.  Could we use principal component analysis (see pamphlet 1) as a way to approach periodical genres (littles, slicks, pulps, qualities, etc.) or even modernism itself?  Could network analysis (see pamphlet 2) help us understand the web of relations within and between periodicals?*

 

*I hope so, since I’ve organized a panel on this subject for MSA!

 

 

 

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