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Abstract

Editor's Summary

The study of literature is changing in dramatic ways, stimulated by new opportunities that digital technology presents. Data visualization upends the dynamic for literary analysis, focusing not on questions stemming from a critic's personal viewpoint but on revealing and displaying connections between elements of the literary experience. The dominant association between critic and text is downplayed, replaced with associations within the text and between it and its context. The basis of interpretation shifts from reading to seeing, from qualitative analysis to quantitative. The reader's role is transformed, as well, from following the critic's path of thinking to actively exploring a network of multisensory and interdisciplinary information. The distinction between the authoritative presenter/critic and the learner/explorer is blurred. By inviting literary scholars to ask different questions for computational analysis, digital technology and visualization inspire innovative investigations and enable new insights.