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Mathematical Analysis of Literature

  1. Apr 30, 2006 #1
    1) The "plot" of a story.... A series of events.... Normally characterized by "intro", "buildup", "climax", and "conclusion", or whatever other arbitrary label one might fancy to attribute to a section of a piece of literatute....
    2) Mathematically, the "plot" of a story is a series of points in some (albeit somewhat strange) space where concepts like love, violence, disgruntleness, etc... are quantified.
    3) The difference between two chronologically adjacent points, or as physicist are wont to say: "the derivative with respect to time (though with respect to page might be better)", would represent an underlying theme of the story....
    4) Any one want to analyze a story in this fashion and post the analysis? I'd like to find a good story, and see how different our analyses are ..... Perhaps different results could be mapped to each other via some change of reference/basis?
  2. jcsd
  3. May 1, 2006 #2
    why would you want to lose the magic by quantifying it?
  4. May 1, 2006 #3
    Probabbly so you could write a great story?
    Perhaps this is the curse of artists, they cannot enjoy the beauty of their creation like another person would.
  5. May 2, 2006 #4

    jim mcnamara

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    This sounds more like you want hermeneutics, even though it's most often used for relgious texts, it does provide a way to analyze textual material. I suppose you could apply numerical methods to it. But only humans can read text and derive symbology, for example. Current AI is very poor in "understanding" the meaning of text.

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