• Openness in Historical Perspective
  • “Abstract Models” in Moretti
    • distance from text
    • patterns across genres, time, space
  • intro to JS


  • condense data
  • conceptualize mathematically
  • convince readers
  • a fundamentally rhetorical tool

Moretti’s Graphs


Quantitative research provides a type of data which is ideally independent of interpretations. (p.9)

  • yet, the graph is an argument: rise, fall, rise

A History of Readers

  • each phase a new “kind” of reader
  • intensive, extensive, generic


Event, cycle, longue durée: three time frames which have fared very unevenly in literary studies.

… cycles constitute temporary structures within the historical flow. (p.14)

  • event → close reading
  • longue durée → grand narrative
  • cycle → ?

Cycles in Literature


A genre exhausts its potentialities… when its inner form is no longer capable of representing the most significant aspects of contemporary reality. (p. 17, fn 7)

Genre & Generation

… some kind of generational mechanism seems the best way to account for the regularity of the novelistic cycle… (p. 22)

  • “Normal literature”
  • but “revolution” as “dying out”

From “the shift” to “a shift”


…the point is not who prevails in this or that skirmish, but exactly the opposite: no victory is ever definitive… the form keeps oscillating back and forth between the two groups. (p.29)

Moretti’s method

…the real point here… is the total heterogeneity of problem and solution: to make sense of quantitative data, I had to abandon the quantitative universe, and turn to morphology: evoke form, in order to explain figures.

  • how justified is this move?
  • what do we learn from it?

Today: Trees


Moretti’s Evolutionism

  • Citations: Darwin, Feldman, Cavalli-Sforza
  • In his genealogy: Karl Marx; H. G. Wells; E. O. Wilson; all of evolutionary psychology



Clues as evolved phenomenon

  • Doyle as canonical starting point for detective fiction
  • But has a context; how to describe?
  • note: not a personal context!



Free Indirect Style

A peculiar mix of indirect and direct discourse, which draws the verbal tenses and pronouns from the former, and the tone and the order of the sentence from the latter:

It was the abode of noise, disorder, and impropriety. Nobody was in their right place, nothing was done as it ought to be. She could not respect her parents, as she had hoped.

Why FIS?

  • appears to mark a major social transformation (“halfway btwn the social doxa and the individual voice, FIS is a good indicator of their changing balance of forces”)
  • Moretti’s goal: to quantitatively (?) trace these forces

    Take a form, follow it from space to space, and study the reasons for its transformations: the ’opportunistic, hence unpredictable’ reasons of evolution.


  • Teleological thinking?
  • dealing with the “twisted branching”?
  • is this really “quantitative”?
  • Does this qualify as “insight”?

Summary: Moretti and History

  • labor-intensive quantification of sources
  • glossing over problems of quantification
  • continued reliance on expert opinion – but how is that expertise to be cultivated?

More Javascript

For loops!


the “Repeat” function

Check length

“Operator Overloading”

+, -, do different things w/ different variable types

Working with the DOM

Document Object

  • everything in the document can be manipulated here

Finding Elements

  • document.getElementById("str")
  • document.getElementByTagName("str")
  • document.getElementByClassName("str")

Creating Elements

  • var newElement = document.createElement("str")

Putting elements into the document

  • var newElement = document.createElement("str")
  • var oldElement = document.getElementByID("str")
  • oldElement.append(newElement)

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