Edited by Massimo Salgaro and Paul Sopčák
[Scientific Study of Literature 8:1] 2018
► pp. 77–113
An empirical approach to professional literary interpretation
This paper presents series of historiometric studies that exemplify the value of “citation analysis” as an empirical approach to professional literary-critical interpretation, especially with respect to the question of the “literariness” of literary texts. Specifically, the studies show that professional interpreters of Wordsworth’s poetry, across more than a century of time and despite widely varying critical approaches, tend to pay more attention to and therefore more frequently cite lines that involve prospective enjambments. Lines involving nominative noun phrase and retrospective enjambments, however, did not reveal the same correlation with frequency of citation. The studies thus suggest that literariness does indeed have a relatively stable textual component that may be discriminated through citation analysis of professional interpretations of individual literary texts by authors writing in distinct genres of literature and in different periods in literary history.
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