In this section Franco Moretti showed a lot of research on how literature has changed over time. He showed the number of novels written per year with different figures for different regions and showed how the genres overlapped. The genres were interesting because of the overlap. One genre would start falling in popularity just as another genre was emerging. Moretti suggested a sort of generational activity behind the replacement of genres but didn’t seem to have a full theory on the matter. I found this to be interesting research. He sort of went behind the scenes and discussed the corelation between the novels and outside events that might have had an impact on them, displaying the novel’s place in the larger framework of history throughout the world. It seems that there are internal and external factors affecting the timeline of novels. Technology, wars, trade, materials, etc. all have an effect on the novel, its content, production, and distribution. But there are also internal forces which changed the way people read, for example reading many texts once vs. reading many over and over again in great depth. A lot of this work seemed like presenting and interpreting data, doing historical comparisons, and making conclusions, some of which seem larly speculative.
While I find this work interesting so far, I am not sure what to consider it. Is this digital humanities? It does seem to be a sort of macro analysis, but it all seems to be about numbers and data in terms of the life cycle of the novel in general without any analysis of content. Is this the digital humanities of just the study of the progression of the life of the novel? Considering it the latter is not to discredit the work in any way. It might just be the foundation for digital humanities work in the ‘maps’ and ‘trees’ sections. It might already be considered digital humanities, im not sure.