Araby Street Walking Map

This map is supposed to represent a walking tour in Dublin starting from Araby house that passes famous landmarks that would have been there in the boy from the story's time. I also included the famous Brazen head, which may have been where the Uncle really was while the boy waited for him, and some famous places named after Joyce himself. I also incluced the Arab Irish Chamber of commerace, as the modern day true Araby House. To get a feel for this city you have to really travel around and away from the pinched streets where the boy lived.


Sorry, I am having trouble downloading the map but will share as I can through e-mail.


1.Yes, the distances between where the boy lived and Araby house were much shorter than in the story compared to real life. The boy could have walked there easily instead of taking a long trip.

2. There are rivers that wander down by the Bizarre and further south, making the characters more hemmed into their living spaces.

3. The distance between reality and truth are as far from one another as the lines on this map. The church is so close, but the effect on the characters is often time incogruent with the choices they make.

4. There are many things, but to me the most obvious is the coming of age factor that happens again and again when a character is disallusioned by the people around them. When they come to understand the flaws of others, and in themselves, a kind of contempt forms. Not only that this knowledge is paid for at a high price, much like when Adam and Eve ate the apple. These maps also show the reality to the reader and take away some of the glamour as well, as while beautiful, Araby house is now basically on top of an unemployment office and money is tight. The homes are mostly clean but are tightly stuck together with little space except in the parks. Graffitti is found in many places once you stray from the main streets. Looking and seeing are two very different things, and Joyce is a master at lifting the veil about what people finally see the reality of their situation as they mature. 


Mapping Araby

In trying to map out the route of the protagonist of "Araby" it becomes clear just how limited his world is. The train ride he takes in the story almost had me thinking the bazaar was miles and miles away from his house, but in reality, it's about a two mile train ride from the station to the bazaar. Not only that—but the boy's route to the subway station is a walk that's about mile and some change. That is to say, the boy walks about a third of his route to the bazaar. 

On this note, what also becomes clear in looking at the map, is the presence of bodies of water at both the boys house, and hemming in the bazaar. While none of the story takes place by the shoreline, the mere presence of water constantly suggests the island status of Ireland. The ocean is between the boy and the world he reads and dreams of, and the River Liffy is between him and the bazaar. 

Mapping Colonialist Control in Joyce's "Eveline"

I created this map to focus on trying to map the colonialist control over Dublin which has a hold on the main character Eveline's life in James Joyce's "Eveline." Because of this, almost all that she hears of the outside world is under colonialist control, and in an effort to escape from this fate, she wishes to flee to Buenos Aires, which is ironically yet another place that was under colonial control. However, despite all of his promises, Frank intends to take her to Liverpool instead, a place in the center of colonist England where she would be without recourse or help and could be easily sold into sex slavery either there, or transported to other ports through the shipping system. I include descriptions of each of the places that are mentioned in the story, and explore how their locations and associations are overt assertions of colonialist control over the people of Dublin and Ireland, and how this encroachment affects Eveline's life and view of the world. I also draw a line showing just how far a ship from Dublin would need to travel in order to reach Buenos Aires, which is in a different hemisphere of the globe altogether.

The star icon is used to indicate Eveline's dream for escape, the place she never gets to reach, Buenos Aires. Circle icons with a small dot in the middle are used to mark locations that represent colonialist control. The home icon is used to show Eveline's home, and where exactly she lived as detailed in the short story. Ordinary icons are used to indicate places that are noteworthy, yet unique in their connotations.

"She was about to explore another life with Frank."

The red icons on the map denote the exotic locales that Frank mentions during his pseudo-courtship of Eveline, while the green icon is placed at the North Wall of the river port in Dublin. Although she imagines exploring wildly distant places, she is ultimately paralysed on the North Wall while she watches Frank depart. 

While working on the map, it was notable that while each of the locations she imagines exploring with Frank involves increasingly significant distances, the actual location of Liverpool (where he is likely actually taking her) fits under the same large green icon as the North Wall when you are zoomed out far enough to see distant Buenos Aires. A key element of the story seems to be the ephemeral or imaginary status of these exotic locations that are associated with the ocean and Frank's occupation as a sailor. Eveline's dissociation at the end of the story leaves these imaginary places as unreal and unexplored, as intangible and fluctuating as the ocean and her theoretical future with Frank.




Graffiti as transgression against the "regimentation" of public space

 In "TXTual Practice" by Rita Raley, one of the examples used to demonstrate the regimentation of public space is the illegal act of graffiti, the creation of which transgressively claims a public space for its artist(s) (Halyes & Pressman 7). This example particularly jumped out to me because of the well-established digital community of graffiti artists, many of whom go only by their tag names to protect their identities, who film themselves roaming cities and abandoned urban spaces and creating stunning pieces of graffiti artwork. This artists must work rapidly to avoid being caught, or if they are in a secure place, to practice the skills of rapid work to hone their craft. One of the most interesting aspects of this community is their sense of obligation to their local cities and towns which leads to them often only wishing to create graffiti on truly abandoned, isolated, and unowned structures. This portion of the graffiti artist community often have programs and mentorships for young or growing graffiti artists and teach them how to seek out spaces that are safe or not illegal or at least not cared about in order to create their works of art. Other portions of the community graffiti more widely and in illegal places, such as on the sides of cargo trains, old warehouses, or under bridges, seeing the illicit nature of their art as an essential part of its substance. For all of these graffiti artists, it appears that the transgressive and rebellious nature of their art, whether they flaunt it or not, is a primary part of its value, and its ability to give a voice to artists whose voices are under-represented in art galleries and display the beauty and skill of their art throughout the urban landscape they call home, speaking out of turn and against all efforts to silence it, is an essential part of its power.

Aside from its inherent statement of power against authority, graffiti also has great textual significance as well, which Raley did not draw upon in her essay but that supports her topic powerfully. Graffiti artists each develop tags for themselves, which can be thought of as symbols and nicknames that identify who they are. There are universal communicatory symbols amongst graffiti artists that are well understood; the crown, for instance, is considered a high honor that only the best of graffiti artists who have not only mastered their craft and "paid their dues," but have also managed to cover their cities in their art so that every other graffiti artist knows their tag and style well, can claim. If anyone who is thought not deserving of the honor of the crown above their tag, their work may be defaced or they may even be hunted by other graffiti artists and punished for stealing the symbol without earning it. There are generally only ever a few kings or queens recognized within a single community at a time, and the honor is guarded by the entire community, and sought after by all. Similarly, one of the highest offenses amongst the graffiti community is to deface or cover up someone else's work, because this is not only a destruction of art that can never be reclaimed, but a silencing of the artist's voice in that location, and is viewed as an action of grave disrespect. There are grave warnings within the community to respect the work of others, as kids and young, inexperienced artists are the ones who most commonly commit this offense, and artists who are angered by this destruction of their work may resort to violence.

Yet another interesting textual aspect to graffiti and the community of graffiti artists is language that is unique to graffiti. Artists become skilled at reading the letters and understanding them, yet to an untrained eye they are often very difficult to decipher due to the extreme stylization of the letters. There are different styles that are constantly evolving, and the ability to read and communicate through these unique letters and symbols is a powerful method of textual control of an environment through art. Though a random bystander may well be able to appreciate the beautiful colors and stylistic lettering used in the graffiti works, other artists and those who know the community are able to recognize not only the tags and signatures of the artists, but also the unique message they are communicating. Many graffiti artists choose not only to communicate a message, but also to represent their group, and there are many examples of collaborative work amongst graffiti artists, where each individual contributes to the work as a whole in a rapid and expertly choreographed dance of spraypaint upon the wall.

A few examples of graffiti artist that share their work and process digitally:

Rake43 painting in an abandoned factory:


Can a Coin Have Three Sides?

Rita Raley's thesis of using the scenes of public writing to analyze "the dynamics of ephemerality and vernacularity that are at the heart of the way we read and write now" is intriguing to me. I may feel like a technological 'granny' now, but even when I wasn't, I never gave into the trend of "text speak" no matter how much faster it would be to type with my thumbs. (Okay not strictly true, as I have sparingly given in to 'LOL' a few times, but only ever uppercase; 'lol' as a reply to everything that is funny {and not} just grates on me to no end). Her descriptions of using public text installations to "construct a new public space...situated in between the actual...and the virtual" (p15) as "ephemeral graffiti" (p17) almost seems redundant. One of my favorite concepts is the idea that these public installations of a normally semi-private activity mean that "monologic advertisements instead become bulletin boards and chat spaces" (p18). We, as a public, repurpose spaces in new ways that are far more enjoyable than intended.

Matt Kirschenbaum writing about the discovery of Walt Whitman records at the National Archives highlights basically the opposite of Raley's thesis. Created more than a century ago and packed away in an archive just waiting to be found contrasts nicely with temporary installations of public participation. But because they both deal with the mundane, they're not strictly antithetical, even if it seems like they should be.

Kirschenbaum also wrote that "to archive in the realm of computation originally meant to take something offline" (p58) which is kind of funny because I once thought of archiving as creating digital copies of my physical photos and papers was the best way to achieve LOCKSS. This idea also counters McGann's need to move beyond the codex format when analyzing other codices. Yes, we can keep using them, but we're far more limited by the format and far more likely to miss the connections that digital analysis provides. As he points out, "The elecotronic OEX is a metabook, that is, it has consumed everything that the codex OED provides and reorganized it at a higher level." (p55) 


These ideas are all circling around the same broad concept. We need to create ephemeral graffitti together, we need to archive materials offline AND online, and we need the flexibility of digital analysis of bookish materials. Even though it feels like these concepts should be contradictory, they're more of a 3-D coin than diametrically opposed ends of a continuum. 

Gephi Put Me in My Place

My experience with Gephi, while not one full of cursing and outward frustration, was not entirely pleasant. I say it was not entirely pleasant because all-in-all, Gephi is a unique tool that--like Voyant Tools--opens new doors for me as we trudge through the semester and make our way to the deadline for our semester-long research project. I am happy to have been introduced to this tool, but being unfamiliar with the data loaded into it was most definitely a source of frustration for me. Had I compiled the data myself to load into this, that may have made the blind exploration process easier as I know how the data is supposed to look in certain situations.

The genre tags made little sense to me without context of how they were developed, but I'm sure made sense to whomever compiled them. I enjoyed playing around with the different types of graphs and applying different styles to the font, which makes me excited to try Gephi again with my own data. Something that was also interesting was reconfiguring the data to highlight different trends in the graph.

I loved exploring the statistical tools on Gephi, regardless of having no idea what the results implied with little knowledge of the original data. Gephi was definitely foreign to me, which is strange because I typically find myself as the pseudo-IT person in most situations as my professional work includes a focus in web devleopment. It made me uncomfortable having little control over what I was doing, but I enjoyed that discomfort and figuring out how to manipulate the graphs. I look forward to employing this tool again in the future with data that interests me.


"I think I'm getting the hang of this Gephi thing!"—My famous last words. 

Anyways, the potential of Gephi and data mapping in regards to literature is, honestly a little thrilling? It's a whole different way of reading works that we've read for ages. Like I mentioned in class, the example work Gephi uses to demo their software is characters in Les Miserables. It might be too much to say that the potential of software of Gephi it makes these works feel new, but the idea that there are overlying structures that we don't usually see and now can... That's amazing! It's like we have X-ray vision. 

Now, applying the software to my data proved more challenging. I think my nodes might have been broken somehow, since I only had twelve, and it was easy to make mistakes that I didn't know how to undo, but following the step by steps from Gephi and Dr. Drouin, I think I was able to at least sort of arrange the data how I wanted. It had shapes and colors, and when you export as a PDF, it does this beautiful curve thing. Quite nice to look at. 

The thing I guess I am still so intrigued/frustrated by, is how it feels difficult to know which questions are the right to ask. I guess in the humanities I'm so used to the more philosophical and theoretical side of things it feels weird to look at something this mathematic. Once you have a graph organized and layed out is when the questions really start to arise. In this case, it really layed out the thematic soup all the authors were living in. Relatable! 

I tried to embed my photo, but I don't know that it succeded so I am also linking a photo to my work. 

Every Issue Is a Themed Issue

As an editor of a literary journal, you can't go much lower than a themed issue. It's the absolute zero of the creative writing world. An editor's sad nadir. A literary journal's last death cough from a consciousness that's blinking out. The other day, an email arrived in my inbox from some literary journal straddling uneasily the periphery of relevance. They were advertising a new call of submissions for a scab themed issue. The advertisement read:

Not quite broken, not quite mended. A reminder of what was, and what will be. Scabs protect our wounds, and yet the temptation to pick at them and peel them off is always there. They call attention to what is already disappearing, and we don’t yet know if they will leave a scar. Scabs are a reminder that healing can be a long, ugly process.

It's the kind of thing that should make any creative with dignity left blush. Yet, it's also kind of instructive, right? It announces what we already know: a lot of people are in pain right now, so a lot of people are writing about pain. Scabs are wounds. Scabs are painful. Scabs are a kind of healing. Scabs are ugly. Pain-->scabs-->wounds-->healing-->ugly.

What I’m trying to say is that Gephi allows us to access these kinds of associative networks that we are always consuming as we read. And we know exactly what we are consuming, but we don’t talk about it, because it’s obvious and kind of embarrassing to talk about. Ugly correlates with scab, because scabs are ugly.

The fact I spent my time trying to operate Gephi with all of the subtlety of a baby trying to fit the triangle shape into the square hall isn’t the point. The point is clear. Identifying associative networks is requisite element of performing close reading is. Gephi just allows us to access what we already know but can’t express yet. Turns out: every issue is a themed issue.

Gephi analysis

I think there was some kind of error in my data importing process. While I agree with the topic tag connections, there are duplicate tags that will list different permutations of the same words. I would have to do more investigation to figure out how to eliminate the duplicates. They make the graph more cluttered than I would like.

The Yifan Hu layout algorithm seems to bifurcate the data based on the amount of connections between tags; in the chart that I’ve created that filters the ID network by relationship to James Joyce, the network produced by the Yifan Hu layout is two wings connected by a central node of the novel, which is a convenient visual to conceptualize the two main written works related to Joyce. When the full data set is arranged in the Yifan Hu layout, the duplicate data creates a lot of visual clutter as the data separates into grouped islands; I’ve included a screenshot of one island, where I can note the centrality of the term “poetry,” although the rest of the data is a bit jumbled.

Given the limits of visuality in the Yifan Hu arrangement, I was pleased with the image generated by the Fruchterman Rheingold layout, which created a modular arrangement that flexes upon rearrangement to maintain the relationship between nodes. I felt that this model was more visually intuitive (although that may be partially because of the visual limitations of the duplicate nodes) because it kept the data contained and connected rather than dispersing it into discrete islands, which I think models the conceptual relationships between topics.

I think this network visualization is a useful method for periodical studies (given the future ability to import data without error…) because it reveals relationships that are not evident upon close reading, but, once revealed, may help guide/inform close reading. I think I could benefit from this procedure as a way of giving a fresh set of eyes to the same brain.