By Heidi Kaufman and Matthew Hannah
One of the biggest challenges in Digital Humanities analysis lies in supplementing tried-and-true tools such as close reading with other forms of analysis. Certainly, many scholars have heard of Franco Moretti’s famous “distant reading,” and this concept has come to serve as a kind of mysterious villain working in the shadows against close reading, seeking its elimination from the pursuit of humanistic inquiry and analysis.
But what is this “distant reading” and why does it matter? Although the term “distant” as used by Moretti is meant to offer a bookend to a range of literary and cultural analytic tools, with close reading occupying the other end of a spectrum, the term has become somewhat divorced from this context. This is why Matthew Jockers’ 2013 book on the subject, entitled Macroanalysis: Digital Methods and Literary History offers such an important contribution to the DH field. Read MoreThe Thursday Review