Distant Horizons

Digital Evidence and Literary Change

Research output: Book/ReportBook

Abstract

Just as a traveler crossing a continent won’t sense the curvature of the earth, one lifetime of reading can’t grasp the largest patterns organizing literary history. This is the guiding premise behind Distant Horizons, which uses the scope of data newly available to us through digital libraries to tackle previously elusive questions about literature. Ted Underwood shows how digital archives and statistical tools, rather than reducing words to numbers (as is often feared), can deepen our understanding of issues that have always been central to humanistic inquiry. Without denying the usefulness of time-honored approaches like close reading, narratology, or genre studies, Underwood argues that we also need to read the larger arcs of literary change that have remained hidden from us by their sheer scale. Using both close and distant reading to trace the differentiation of genres, transformation of gender roles, and surprising persistence of aesthetic judgment, Underwood shows how digital methods can bring into focus the larger landscape of literary history and add to the beauty and complexity we value in literature.
Original languageEnglish (US)
Place of PublicationChicago
PublisherUniversity of Chicago Press
Number of pages200
ISBN (Electronic)9780226612973
ISBN (Print)9780226612836, 9780226612669
StatePublished - Feb 2019

Fingerprint

Close Reading
Literary History
Organizing
Aesthetic Judgment
Persistence
Genre Studies
Digital Archive
Gender Roles
Digital Libraries
Usefulness
Humanistic
Narratology
Travellers
Distant Reading
Curvature

Cite this

Underwood, T. (2019). Distant Horizons: Digital Evidence and Literary Change. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.

Distant Horizons : Digital Evidence and Literary Change. / Underwood, Ted.

Chicago : University of Chicago Press, 2019. 200 p.

Research output: Book/ReportBook

Underwood, T 2019, Distant Horizons: Digital Evidence and Literary Change. University of Chicago Press, Chicago.
Underwood T. Distant Horizons: Digital Evidence and Literary Change. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2019. 200 p.
Underwood, Ted. / Distant Horizons : Digital Evidence and Literary Change. Chicago : University of Chicago Press, 2019. 200 p.
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