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Humanist Archives: Oct. 23, 2019, 6:28 a.m. Humanist 33.337 - what we're not ready for

                  Humanist Discussion Group, Vol. 33, No. 337.
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        Date: 2019-10-22 15:22:43+00:00
        From: Jim Rovira 
        Subject: Re: [Humanist] 33.336: what we're not ready for

Great response, Bill, and thank you for the details and clarification. I
correct myself -- I'm not aware of that kind of work being widely conducted

I suspect the problem might be that language isn't really computational. It
doesn't unfold word after word. One metaphor is that it's a garden of
forking paths, but even that is too linear. A computer could manage that. A
word isn't a meaning -- it's a range of denotations and connotations that
are continually creating new paths that simultaneously create and
contradict others. It's a series of self involved and self-defeating loops.
In computational terms, the average literary text is a mass of system
crashes. What we might do instead is ask what kinds of approaches to
literary texts most resemble forms of computation already. Might be
tempting to say "New Criticism," but so many of them were in love with
paradox: it's not interesting until the system crashes. Maybe some kinds of
formalism, especially perhaps Russian formalism, and perhaps this might be
an interesting way to revive myth criticism, say, Frye?

However, have you looked into Robert Brandom?

Jim R

On Tue, Oct 22, 2019 at 1:30 AM Humanist  wrote:

> I hesitate to offer that passage because, as far as I can tell, Moretti's
> not
> calling for the kind of theoretical inquiry I've been referring to, though
> what he IS calling for interests me a great deal. I quote it, though,
> because it
> does point up pretty much the same issue. To invoke a cliche, computation
> is
> always the bridesmaid, never the bride.
> BB

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