The Quiddities

Creative Work
All Rights reserved
Record Status: 
Description (in English): 

"Presenting the results of a data search sure to strain the capacities of any computer, Milutis proceeds to give an exceedingly close reading of what he modestly calls 'the fundamental core of all literature.'"

Pull Quotes: 

"this is a piece of literary minutiae, which, while straining the capacities of any search engine, has had a profound effect on literary experimentation. . . . "

"In 1968, Marvin Spevack developed the first computer-assisted concordance to Shakespeare, A Complete and Systematic Concordance to the Works of Shakespeare. Only then were we able to get a full sense of the statistical array of the bard’s this. But the data, while revealing, is still indiscriminant, conflating artistic uses of this with more utilitarian ones. The human operators of this mainframe—an IBM 7094 that was fed punch cards and recorded on magnetic tape—could have treated the output as mere system noise rather than significant information. But Spevack wanted pure data laid out 'in as direct and uncluttered a manner as possible, and yet as seen from different angles, to avoid editorial tinkering and conjecture.' And so this was not filtered from the results."

The permanent URL of this page: 
Record posted by: 
Joe Milutis