Voyant Assignment



Graph 1: capture

The first graph that I had created I decided to search words from Frankenstein’s 1818 version and looked up words like supernatural, fear, death and night. I was thinking about genre and how these words specifically tie into the genre of the horror/gothic novel in the 18th century. What I noticed was that supernatural was not present throughout the novel and was a word that was not often used. Words like death and night appeared more frequently throughout the novel. Fear was a word that was used throughout the novel but did not fluctuate like night and death did. What I can conclude from this research is that the words in the novel definitely contribute to the genre that they are associated with because of how often words appear. 

Graph 2:  capture-2

For graph two I used a link graph in order to view how words in the 1818 text of Frankenstein are associated to one another and how close or far apart they appear to be to one another. The terms man and science were linked to one another but man and science were not linked to one another but fairly close to one another. The word society and monster were linked to one another and far away from the terms man, science and family. I thought this was interesting because I would have thought that monster would have been linked to science but it was not. What I can conclude from this graph link is that words in the text seem to have been linked to different words but, not necessarily where they originated from. Ex: science linked to monster or man linked to family.

Graph 3: capture-6-2

For my third graph I decided to use the stream graph to show the relationship between the words that I had processed in the graph. I wanted to know what words appeared more often I typed in words such as life, power, science and, creation. The word creation was the most frequent word then science then power and lastly life. I found it interesting because the graph looks like the words have levels to them in relation to their importance.


In “Graphs,Maps,Trees” by Franco Moretti the tree section deals with Darwin’s theory of survival of the species. The tree diagram on page 6 figure 28: divergence of character represents the growth “were history is systematically correlated with form of a character in a novel.(69)” There are breaks and separations from characters in relation to their generations. The diagrams do not only represent the characters historical family generation but also languages and their origins. Another example of this tree diagram is on page 71 and shows how language moves from one country to the next. “A tree is a way of sketching how far a certain language has moved from another one, or from their common point of origin. Language and its patterns of popularity and movement can be seen in the graph just like in genres of language Moretti goes into further detail and has a tree graph on genres. Genres can reveal the relationships between different authors. It also reveals the popularity of certain genres and their popularity or their extinction. Darwin’s example can express the idea of transformations, historical generations as well as evolutions of novels. What I found specifically interesting was when Moretti mentions The Ulysses and it’s narration of  free indirect discourse. I am currently reading the super complicated/ confusing novel for my Literary History course and am still trying to find out the difference between the characters actions and thoughts. Moretti explores this free indirect discourse narrative and makes a tree graph on page 84. The tree graph shows the difference in styles that have changed. From 1800-2000 free indirect discourse has migrated into different forms. In the 1800’s the narration style that was popular at the time was second person narration, in the 1880’s the naturalist movement formed, in the late 19th century the nationaliso of antagonism as well as individual ambition. In the 19th century there was also a movement in which writers started dropping original styles of narration and went towards the objective side of free indirect discourse. ” In The Ulysses, the third person is constantly drifting towards, but also yielding to the first person of Joyce’s chosen technique, the stream of consciousness. (80)” Moretti mentions that culture somehow influences all of these changes and is influential towards the changes in texts throughout history.

Novelistic Forms Throughout Time

Franco Moretti’s Graphs,Maps,Trees is a very interesting theoretical book about the historical aspects of books,genres and, history in the graphs section of the book. What I observed from this section of the book was the graphs illustrated where all  different from one another. Figure 1 was based on the rise of the novel throughout history throughout different countries. What I found interesting was that Britain and Japan were similarly graphed but different from Italy and Spain who were similar as well. Nigeria on the graph was not in relation to any other countries and was off to the side. This graph was of great importance in the chapter because literary history is shown in this chart.  I feel that although there are many questions as to why history reflects novels and their genres is interesting and complex. What is focused on in the section is the similarities and differences between different countries and the production of novels, the genre types that appear during certain time periods, as well as the rise and fall of certain genres as well as authors. Although there are many questions still left unanswered about these changes in history, there is a graph to show factual proof that there are changes occurring, which can be the beginning of a way of analyzing the data in a more coherent manner. What I  observed that was interesting is the history of the British genre forms in the 1800’s (the gothic). I am currently in a gothic/horror class and have read some of the gothic horror books that were mentioned in this chapter. The gothic genre takes over the epistolary genre and the historical genre takes over the gothic genre in history. Novels such as The Castle of Ottanto and Pamela took over the gothic genre but, it is explained that a change in genre occurs over time because it starts to die out and become less popular because new gernes are evolving and books such as The Structure of Scientific Revolutions that is a realist text that can diminish the gothic novel because it is taken over by  realistic/scientific factual ideas in history. But, the end of one genre and the start of another does not mean that the previous genre will not return again. I believe that history is repeated and regenerated time and time again. The gothic genre for example comes back in history in a new way that is remade to be different than the gothic genre from the past. The study of graphs in this chapter are not only  “theoretical explanations for a theory but of a whole family of novelistic forms throughout time. (p.30)” I thought that this quote in the end of the chapter gave a conclusion as to what the chapter was trying to get through to the reader in simple terms. I felt that the graphs not only represented novels throughout history but also change in genres, authors, time period, accessibility of novels, and the rise and falls of genres throughout history.

Digital Humanities Explaining All of Our Questions?

Digital Humanities is a term known as a computing field of studies. It is known as the study of research, teaching, and invention. DH is concerned with intersection of computing and the disciplines of the humanities. There are different ways in which DH can be explained. DH is seen as methodological by nature and is disciplining in scope. It also involves investigation, analysis and synthesis as well as presentation of information in an electronic form. It is known as the study of media an how it affects the disciplines in which they are used and what the disciplines have to contribute to our knowledge of computing. I find that all of these terms are intertwined with one another and show how useful google and wikipedia and twitter is nowadays. The internet is an easy access to anything that you may want to find an answer to. While some theorists may say that computers are erasing the author and his/her identity the computer can also be a form of networking as well. It can be used as a source to show your work to the public and getting feedback from. I find the internet to be very useful because I not only have any answers I may want to know at my fingertips but also, find the internet to be very efficient and useful all the time. But, could the internet just be a easy way out of  physical communication? Possibly, nowadays you can take hybrid online classes and will not have to physically interact with professors or other students. I find the computer to be useful but dangerous at the same time. You cannot trust everything you read on the internet to be true or accurate. Most students are told that wikipedia can be altered or changed by anyone therefore not to trust the cite but, a digital humanities theorist may say a person’s attribution to wikipedia is only one of the many mediums that you can turn to for information. The article focused on the ways in which the internet can be useful to network and gain knowledge and information. For example you can network through twitter if you use a # and get involved in a converstation about the same topic. As the hashtag builds there is a converstation about the topic that can be useful to study and analyze from different perspectives. By using the internet we can open access to publishing, ownership,audience members, peer review as well as tenure, and, promotion.

I found an interesting video to explain on Digital Humanities and its history 🙂

Post Structuralism vs. Structuralism

Post structuralism and deconstruction deals with the differences between the two terms. In the essay there are 4 different key points that can show the reader the difference between post structuralism and structuralism. The certain key differences that I decided to write about were tone and style, attitude to language and, project. The essay points out the differences between the two terms in order to get a better understanding what the differences are and to compare the two theories to one another. structuralism writing is one that is seen as abstract and general. There is a form that structuralism takes on that has an order that takes on aspects of scientific writing although it does not want to be labeled as a term that is only scientific. Post-structuralism writing is euphoric and urgent. This means that the writing is supposed to give off a certain feeling or expression to the reader that is associated with happiness. Structuralist believe that the world is constructed through language. Reality is only seen through a linguistic medium. I find this interesting because I think that the structuralism is trying to state that language is very important in the sense that it creates the world we live in. Structuralism also is thought of as having a structure and order that the world revolves around. Post structuralist’s believe that reality is seen as textual. “post structuralism develops what threatens to become terminal anxieties about the possibility of achieving knowledge through language.” I think that this quote helps us understand how post structuralism causes certain tensions that are brought up by the idea of language. This idea is further explained to express the idea of words in language that mean one thing may not successfully be understood the way one refers to them. There is a lost in translation at times and meaning can vary according to the words that are used in language. Post structualists also believe that words are known and understood through the help of other words that are opposite of the original word that is trying to be identified. The goal that structuralism wants to fulfill is the breakaway from the modes of perception/categorization and get words to be seen in a more reliable point of view. Post structuralisms goals are for one to see an individual as a product of social and linguistic forms and to take away the idea of skepticism in language.

Are Barthes and Saussure Alike in Some Aspects of Theory?

In The Structural Activity Barthes tries to explain the word Structuralism. Structuralism is seen as a mode of thought that “refers to the linguistic model that was originated by Saussure’s theory that deals with economics, linguistics, and the science of structure.” Not only is structuralism complex and has many different working parts but it also involves a second part that includes history, and the immobilization of time. When I think of the second part to the definition of structuralism I think of the historical time period in which you are analyzing a text. The historical aspects play a role in analyzing the text because the text has historical references in it. The more modern structuralism is noted to be during Marxism. I found this interesting because Marxist theory deals with the political, social and economic policies that Karl Marx was questioning during the 18th century. His theories questioned religion in regards to scientific facts. Structuralism cannot be put into one solitary category such as Marxism but it has a series of concepts and cannot be associated with only one school or movement such as Marxism. Marxism is only one way we can see structuralism play out in theory. Structuralism is broken down in order for one to understand the goals of structuralism which is known as the structuralism activity. What exactly does this mean? Well Barthes explains that a structuralism activity involves dissection and articulation. These two terms used to show a change an actual meaning in a text. The actual meaning of the text can be interpreted as an allegorical meaning that is hidden in the text that reveals more than just its elements. Like Saussures theory of linguistics both theorists try to find the allegorical meaning of a text through the historical aspects by looking further into the text by breaking it down into different parts. When Barthes tries to explain how the dissection operation part works in structuralism he states that “The dissection operation thus produces an initial dispersed state of the simulacrum, but the units of the structure are not all anarchic before being distributed and fixed in the continually of the composition, each one forms with its own virtual group or reservoir an intelligent organism, subject to a sovereign motor principle: that of the least difference.” What I thought the dissection process referred to as when one tries to come up with the image of structure in a text it is not controlled or has any rules or principles in the way that it is supposed to be broken down into. Each part that is being dissected is formed in its own group that has a certain principle that has more similarities than differences. The question that I have is whether or not this dissection is within one text or a medium or several texts that are being analyzed in reference to one another? If the structuralism activity does in fact involve several texts that are being viewed and analyzed for their allegorical meanings that have a connection this reminds me of Saussure’s theory that involves looking at several texts elements/themes throughout history that have the same myths. The difference is that Barthes has a method for analyzing the text in a way that not only focuses on a historical aspect of a text but also its different themes and ideas. The second part to the structuralism activity involves the articulation. The way in which the linguistics aspects of a texts forms meaning. This also reminds me of Saussure’s theory because he was very much involved with analyzing how language and words are thought of and produced. Barthes is concerned with the meanings of certain words and the historical and contingent variables of the words. The difference between Barthes and Saussure is that Barthes is interested in the fabrication of meaning in a text than the meaning of a word itself. Barthes also believes that a text is a work and that the work itself has one identity. So does this mean that the work is not looked at an analyzed with several other works? This is where Barthes and Saussure are very much different in terms of their theories.

Nature of Linguistic Sign

Nature of Linguistic Sign by David Ritcher explores Ferdinand de Saussure’s theories. What I noticed from the text was that language plays a huge role in identifying the different theories. The sign, the signified and, the signified concept deals with language and naming process of how things,places,people,etc. get their names. This conception that linking a name and a thing is simple is broken down and is argued to be a false assumption. Naming things is a difficult process especially because there are different languages that come up with names for different things that may or may not have a similar resemblance from one another.Along with language are linguistic signs. A  linguistic sign unites a concept and a sound-image together.But what happens when we use sign language or mouth words without actually saying them? Would they be considered to be part of the linguistic sign that unites sound-image? The idea that we observe our own speech is interesting. When one mouths a word they are not speaking but how does another person understand the person mouthing words? It is through sound-words that we understand mouthed words. By exploring different forms or languages and dialect there is a comparison between how the expressions of one language differs from one language to the next. Language is also referred to as a system of interdependent terms that have a value in presence of other terms. A value can be seen as the significance and importance of one term in comparison to another. An example that was mentioned in the text was the word sun. One naturally thinks visually about the word sun and the words associated with sun. These are natural thoughts when one thinks of certain words that have value and one uses references of other words because it is a natural thought that comes across one’s mind. A quote that I found interesting about language was… “In language there are only differences but they are not known to not be positive”. Language is not known before the linguistic system meaning that language must be studied and analysed in order for it to be understood, it is conceptual and phonetic differences have issues from the system. I believe that the phonetic differences that create issues of this idea are onomatopoeic words, sign language, and mouthing words without actually saying them.

The Scientific Author

In What is an Author? Aesthetics,Method, and Epistemology edited by James D. Faubion Translated by Robert Hurley with essential works of Foucault I found there to be many different opposing arguments on authorship that go against Roland Barthes ideas about authorship. In the text an author is known as “an individual of history,literature, philosophy, and science. I felt that this definition is based on the historical aspects of when a work was written and what scientific ideas were on the rise during that time period. I would like to know how these broad subjects tie fantasy and fiction? One can say that the two genres might be part of a historical aspect but, how would the text explain the ideas of made up creatures in fantasy or a fiction work? With the broad definition of author it might be answered that made up fictional creatures where feared of at a certain point in time in history, for example the fictional monster Grendel in Beowulf that depicts fear of the Abrahamic religions Cain and Abel from the book of Genesis, Godzilla being a figure of representation of the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

What I also find interesting in the text was the importance of the characters/heroes in works. “Writing has become linked to sacrifice,even to the sacrifice of life; it is now voluntary effacement that does not need to be represented in books, since it is brought about in the writers very existence. The work, which once had the duty of providing immorality, now possess the right to kill to be its author’s murderer, as in the case of Flaubert, Proust, and Kafka.” I thought this idea was interesting because the text is saying that there was a certain notion that the main characters/heroes in books were the once who never die because they are a direct reflection of a reliable source that relates back to the author that is seen as inhuman and indestructible. Works/texts now cannot be seen this way because authors are now killing off their characters/heroes and they are showing that they are not the only source for information, another character can take over the narration of a novel. This idea reminds me of Hamlet by William Shakespeare (All of Shakespeare’s tragic works), Death Comes For the Archbishop by Willa Cather,Where the Red Fern Grows by Wilson Rawls and many other works.

Although there is a strong emphasis on disconnecting the author from the characters in a novel there is also an importance on the author aside from the text. James D. Faubion tries to figure out how the idea of the author has disappeared from the literature that he/she has created. I think that the author should receive credit because they have come up with new ideas/thoughts/genres etc. that are being brought out for the world to read. There is also a mention of how all authors are not necessarily seen as authors and are more along the lines of theorists, philosophers and scientists and historicists. He names a few authors that he believes demand credit for example Galileo,Newton,Georges Cuvier, Marx,Freud,Karl Abraham, Melanie Klein. He mentions that all of these authors have come up with new ideas,thoughts,concepts,genres in which are unique. I agree with the ideas that Fabion has come up with but, I also believe that he bases his examples of authors that are scientists and theorists and none that are out of that category. I do not think that these authors can be compared to those that are not factual based, nor do I think they should be but, other authors should be recognized by other aspects other than in the science fields.

Here is an interesting article on the differences between authors and scientists that may argue Faubions ideas and the theories of defintions of what and author is: https://scholarlykitchen.sspnet.org/2012/10/16/authors-arent-scientists-scientists-are-authors-why-catering-to-a-role-could-prevent-robust-publishing/

Death of the Author and Birth of the Reader

Roland Barthes:  The Death of the Author

In The Death of the Author by Roland Barthes, Barthes discusses an author named Honore De Balzac and his novella Sarrasine. Barthes discusses the importance of this work to be an example of how the author has disconnected himself from his writing. Balzac “plays” with his characters and their gender. In Sarrasine Zambinella who is a woman disguises herself to be a man. Many readers are questioning Balzacs decision to have the main character a woman instead of a man. Why would Balzac do something like this? Is this somehow related to his personal experiences? Why was this hidden secret found out in this book about Zambinella? The readers question how this would relate to the writer whom wrote it and how the writer would know how to go about writing about a character of the opposite sex in such detail.  this he sets himself apart from the work.

Barthes later on discusses that writers must eliminate a readers idea of expectations from their works. A writer must be able to produce several different works that have no relation to one another. Barthes mentions that the writer must write in a state in which “they are unaware of what they are writing”. Writers should be able to create and invent new forms in their writing.This idea helps readers separate the writer from their texts. Barthes also ties into his ideas the term surrealism which is a “20th-century movement in art and literature that sought to release the creative potential of the unconscious mind, for example by the irrational juxtaposition of images.” Text is supposed to be complex and confusing and hard to figure out. It is not supposed to have one meaning to it nor, does it ever stop at a meaning that the reader has come up with.

Barthes believes that a work should be called a text and not a work. Surrealism is in texts because there are several different theories and concepts that can be brought out in a text. Text will always have many interpretations which are ongoing and never ending. The author does not lay out his/her thoughts on what he or she wanted a reader to interpret , it is through the reader themselves and the authors creativity that a text comes to life in a way that is seen as stereoscopic and complex.

Roland Barthes:Image result  Image result for sarrasine balzac

Authors writing Authoritative or Allegorical ?

The word author is meant to determine the person behind the text,who the text belongs to and the authority figure that is now revealed and known.  In Author by Donald E. Pease it is mentioned that “the continued athority to make events meaningful in customary or traditional ways provided all the evidence necessary to sustain auctores power.” (p.106) Pease goes on to stating that in the Middle Ages the relationship between the authoritative books and the everyday work was an allegorical one. This got me thinking about Celtic mythologies and how they were written. The mythologies were written by unknown authors such as scribes/monks that have written down oral stories and have put these stories into manuscripts. Although we will never find out the name of these scribes is it right to say that they deserve the credit as being authors of these manuscripts? Or are the oral translators the ones that should be taking credit for their works of old Irish literature? I would think that since the oral speeches came first they do deserve some credit but, the scribes are the ones with the talent to remember these stories and write them down in order to keep the history alive so to speak on paper. Pease mentions that these authoritative books are said to be allegorical ones which means they have hidden meanings and messages to them. It is intresting to question what an author is because there are so many different uses for the word Author and what it necessarily means to be an Author. Pease also mentions that there is a relationship between an authoritative book and one that is allogorical. He mentions that worldly placed events took place in terms that may not have occurred because of the fact that there are different realms in the story, and mystical unreal events occurring that one cannot pin point whether the story is part of the everyday world and has many fictional parts to it that don’t seem to make sense or, is there something allogorical about the story which makes it authoritative.