November 19, 2009
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Tinderbox users will find a resonant chord in this passage from Franco Moretti’s intriguing notes on the history of the novel, Graphs, Maps, Trees.

What do literary maps do... First, they are a good way to prepare a text for analysis. You choose a unit – walks,lawsuits, luxury goods, whatever – find its occurrences, place them in space...or in other words: you reduce the text to a few elements, and abstract them from the narrative flow, and construct a new, artificial object like the maps that I have been discussing. And with a little luck, these maps will be more than the sum of their parts: they will posess ‘emerging’ qualities, which were not visible at the lower level.