Franco Moretti

Franco Moretti teaches Literature at Stanford, where is the Director of the Literary Lab. He is the author of Signs Taken for Wonders, The Way of the World and Modern Epic, Atlas of the European Novel 1800-1900, and Graphs, Maps, and Trees, as well as Chief Editor of The Novel.


  • New Left Review> Issue 91 out now!

    The January/February issue of New Left Review is now on sale, featuring the following essays:

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  • Franco Moretti wins National Book Critics Circle award

    Franco Moretti’s Distant Reading was awarded the National Book Critics Circle award for criticism last night at the New School. 

    Moretti's collection of essays presents an unorthodox approach to literary studies, and charts the two-decade long development of the pioneering literary critic's philosophy of “distant reading.” Taking aim the dominance of “close reading” in the field, Distant Reading demands a radical reconfiguration of how and what we read. 

    Books by Jonathan Franzen and Janet Malcolm were among others also nominated for the criticism award.

    The National Book Critics Circle awards celebrate the year's best writing in six categories: autobiography, biography, criticism, fiction, nonfiction, and poetry. You can see the full list of winners at the National Books Critics Circle.
  • Distant Reading named finalist for National Book Critics Award

    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 territory 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.

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