Literary Simulation and Digital Humanities

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How can we use digital media to understand reading, editing, and writing as literary processes? How can we design the digital medium in a way that goes beyond the printed codex? This book is an attempt to answer those fundamental questions by bringing together a new theory of literary studies with a highly dynamic digital environment.

Using the digital archive of the modernist masterpiece Book of Disquiet, by the Portuguese writer Fernando Pessoa (1888-1935), as case study and site for simulation and practical experiment, Literary Simulation and the Digital Humanities demonstrates how computational approaches to texts can fully engage with the complexities of contemporary literary theory. Manuel Portela marshals a unique combination of theoretical speculation, literary analysis, and human imagination in what amounts to a significant critical intervention and a key advance in the use of digital methods to rethink the processes of reading and writing literature.

The foregrounding of the foundational practices of reading, editing, and writing will be relevant for several fields, including literary studies, scholarly editing, software studies, and digital humanities.

Table of Contents

Incipit: Evolutionary Textual Environment
1. From Archive to Simulator
2. Reading as Simulation
3. Editing as Simulation
4. Writing as Simulation
5. Living on in the Web
Explicit: No Problem Has a Solution