Italo Calvino and Text and Data Mining


For the last few years, I’ve been an observer as our company develops an increasingly mature capability in the text and data mining space. We envision this domain to be an important component of the future of our customers and in particular with those researchers in the digital humanities.

As an English Language and Literature major, I’m dazzled by what these new tools and techniques can reveal—and often make the point that I am frustrated by what different angles my research could have taken has such capabilities been available when I was in school in the last century: No more endlessly reskimming Women in Love for two weeks while writing a paper called “The Lawrencian Zoo,” no more headaches trying to find interesting literary conventions in that one chapter in Ulysses. Just write a search or a little program and voilĂ !

Last week I was reading If on a Winter’s Night a Traveler for (embarrassingly) the first time in my life and was charmed to find a few prescient sections related to text mining in this postmodern message from the 1970s.

If on a Winter's Night Page 186.jpg

If on a Winter's Night Page 188.jpg

If on a Winter's Night Page 189.jpg