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BY-NC-ND 4.0 license Open Access Published by De Gruyter 2023

The Polite Revolution of Computational Literary Studies

From the book Computational Stylistics in Poetry, Prose, and Drama

  • Anne-Sophie Bories , Pablo Ruiz Fabo and Petr Plecháč


The progressive digitization of texts, be they literary or not, has had a remarkable impact on the way we access them, making it possible to obtain help from computers towards the analysis of literary works. Treating text as data allows researchers to test existing hypotheses and, sometimes, ask new questions. And yet, what might appear like a scholarly revolution is actually the natural continuation of former efforts. From card files to spreadsheets to deep learning, quantitative approaches are not a disruption of scholarly practices, particularly in the exploration of poetic texts, which typically rely on a highly regulated, and thus readily measurable, material. Whatever the complexity of the method used, viewing texts through this concentrating lens, this restricted gaze, forms a camera obscura within which lines of regularity may appear that we hadn’t necessarily thought of beforehand, enriching and furthering the scholarly examination of literary productions.

© 2022 Walter de Gruyter GmbH, Berlin/Boston
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