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