Franco Moretti's 2013 book, Distant Reading
, has been named a finalist for the National Book Critics Award for criticism.
A pioneering literary critic, Moretti charts new terrirtory with his most recent book, a collection of essays that takes aim at the hegemonic method of "close reading."
The United States is the country of close reading, so I don't expect this idea to be particularly popular. But the trouble with close reading (in all of its incarnations, from the new criticism to deconstruction) is that it necessarily depends on an extremely small cannon... At bottom, it's a theological exercise-- very solemn treatment of very few texts taken very seriously-- whereas what we really need is a little pact with the devil: we know how to read texts, now let's learn how not to read them.
With Distant Reading
, Moretti breaths new life into understanding what, and how, we read.
In the latest issue of New Left Review:
Lena Lavinas: 21st Century Welfare
Latin America as laboratory for conditional cash transfers, fast becoming the hegemonic social-protection paradigm for the Global South. In a comparative survey, Lena Lavinas reveals the CCT model as a strategy for the financialization—not abolition—of poverty.
Franco Moretti, Italian literary critic and humble flag bearer of the digital humanities, has garnered great praise for his latest two titles, Distant Reading
and The Bourgeois.
Amid speculation over the future of Moretti's data-driven literary studies, some have gone so far as to hale his technique as the method of literary inquiry which most closely resembles the big-data-saturated way we live our lives today.