New Library Resource – the influence of Classical literature

“Brill’s New Pauly Supplements – The Reception of Myth and Mythology presents the impact and reception of major figures of classical Graeco-Roman mythology in comprehensive articles. The contributions to this volume do not deal with mere personifications or with historical figures, mythical locations or historical events. The Reception of Myth and Mythology goes beyond the usual listing of artists, works and dates, or the cataloguing of essentially extrinsic details of a mythographic and iconological nature. It aspires instead to investigate the history of the impact and reception of individual mythical figures from early antiquity to the present day, primarily within the three disciplines of literature, music and art.” Available through the university library databases in Brill Online.

Wikipedia Editors

An academic loses his battle to edit on Wikipedia: Although this article does not portray Wikipedia in a positive light, the difficulty the author had in changing an entry shows one of the major problems of the Wiki concept, namely, how do you keep lone lunatics from filling an encyclopedia with their crazy pet theories? Wikipedia hasn’t ignored this and it uses a mechanism to cut back on the lunatics, but it is at the price of up-to-date scholarship.

Guest Lecture – 19th Century Literature

Tracking Literary Influence in 19th-Century Novels

Prof. Matthew Jockers, Stanford University

Time: Thursday 23 February 2012, 16.00-17.00 pm. Location: H1313-309.

Abstract: Attempts to demonstrate literary imitation and influence have been mired for too long in the mud of close reading.  To chart influence in meaningful ways, we must go beyond anecdotal cases and look to the macroscale.  Using data extracted from 3500 19th-century novels, I construct a “novel genome.”  Each book in the corpus is defined by measuring 590 distinct thematic and stylistic features. Using euclidean mathematics and network analysis software, I plot the data in terms of “evolving” novelistic signals and literary genealogies.  Using network analysis statistics, I identify the century’s most influential writers and their stylistic/thematic legacies.  The overall result is to provide a macroscopic content in which we may better read and better understand the individual writers and texts that make up the collection.

On Monday, February 20th at 5.00 p.m. there will be a lecture by Rory Critten on ‘George Ashby and the Subject of Middle English Autobiography‘. Place: Faculty of Theology and Religious Studies, Oude Boteringestraat 38, Room 130.

As Rory taught here for a semester many  students may know him. His lecture is part of the programme of EMO, the university’s medievalists’ society. During the year medievalists from various disciplines (literature, history, theology, art) give lectures to which all staff and students of the university are welcome. You can simply turn up to any talk which interests you. I’m explaining all this as it is mainly staff who make up the audience and I know from students’ questions that some don’t know that they can attend and that they would be more than welcome. Rory rightly asked me to stress this. These talks are good opportunities to hear professionals addressing one another and to hear papers by visitors to the university.

Who is George Ashby and why should anyone care? I’ll leave this to Rory to answer in detail, but it may be worth noting that he was a 15th century poet who wrote, amongst other things, about his time in prison. The relationship between author and autobiography is a question with a broad relevance so Rory’s talk should be useful as well as interesting. Ashby’s poems can be downloaded at