Graphing

Net

http://voyeurtools.org/tool/TypeFrequenciesChart/?corpus=1329252640907.4758&stopList=stop.en.taporware.txt&type=net&mode=corpus

 

I was intrigued by the appearance of “net” in the top 50 most-frequently used words across the corpus. It didn’t seem like a very thematically relevant term for a magazine comprised mostly of literature, art, music, and drama; it comes up on the most-used words list just after “light,” “soul,” and “artist.” So I searched some of the individual issues to see what it looked like in context.

It turns out that it appears almost exclusively in connection with prices in advertisements. For example, a book might be listed, and then "$1.50 net." Early on in the magazine, as the graph shows, these types of ads are common. In some issues there are several pages in a row of two columns of book ads one after another. But later in the magazine, this type of ad disappears almost completely, and there are fewer, larger ads like the ones for the piano and typewriter we looked at last week. Hence, there are zero instances of the word "net" in those issues. It seems that the advertising interests of The Little Review's publishers changed drastically over time, beginning with many small ads and then shifting toward having a less but larger/more expensive ads in the later issues. My first guess would be that this has to do with the magazine gaining popularity/stability over time, and larger advertisers taking more interest in this publication.

The implcations of the ad shift have yet to be investigated, but it is interesting that a small word like "net" would point to this question. It looks like a good example of what the things we read last week were talking about: these interactive tools we now have let us look for patterns and then we try to ask questions about them, instead of asking a specific questions first and working through evidence to prove or disprove our hypothesis.

Opposing Factors: Network Graphs and the Themes of Joyce and Eliot

While I was toggling between filters on Gephi, I found the most interesting information to be the sort of "over-arching" themes of Joyce and Eliot.  When you select the filter "Eliot,"  the words "immortality" and "aesthetics,"  and the words "death" and "religion," oppose each other on the graph.  Alternatively, using the "Joyce" filter, the graph formulated creates a triangle of "irony," "greatness," and "mediocrity."  

By looking at how these words are related to one another, comparing Joyce and Eliot, one can "read" the major concerns, and the interior conflicts, of their work.  For Eliot, he is concerned with each of the four terms described, but he is also interested in their relationships.  He wonders, in many of his poems, if aesthetics are immortal, and he wonders if religion is dead.  Further, can his aesthetics immortalize him, and can the lack of religion, or too much religion, kill?  

With Joyce, it seems that the irony of his own greatness is his exposure of mediocrity, especially in Bloom's life.  OR, that the irony of life is that everything great is truly mediocre and vice versa.  Perhaps, because this data is subjective, this is more of a reading of individual students' readings of the work, but it nevertheless indicates to some degree the message that these works create.