Tag Archives: Change

Moretti’s Ever-Changing Novel

As separate as they sometimes may appear, scientific reasoning and literature’s paths cross occasionally, creating this selection by Moretti. He argues that the novel has changed its role in literature since the 1700s. What used to sweep a continent by storm and have lasting cultural impact has now metamorphosed into a revenue-generating machine, “A new novel per week, by contrast, is already the great capitalist oxymoron of the regular novelty: the unexpected that is produced with such efficiency and punctuality that readers become unable to do without it.” Moretti even goes to such lengths to compare it to the film industry and its reputation for watered-down writing, “—novels make readers lazy, stupid, dissolute, insane, insubordinate: exactly like films two centuries later—.”

The author makes a legitimate claim in this piece. Even over the past 5 years, I have noticed the “here and gone” fanaticism that comes hand in hand with a new novel. However, this is not the case for all new fiction. Some novels quietly fade into the background, only to make it to the shelves for a quick stay. The real issue with this phenomenon is how the human race changes its preferred form of communication almost constantly. I believe the social aspect of reading has dramatically changed how and why people read, and that will continue to shift as long as humanity continues to share information.

Society’s Fixation on Major Events

NGram Picture


I think the topic I want to focus on is pretty obvious from the words that I searched. We, as cultures, choose to focus on major events. The world wars were arguably some of the most crucial events in world history. Today, we discuss buzzing news by taking to Twitter and publishing articles online. We also use some methods that they used last century, though, such as putting this news in the front page of the next day’s paper or publishing the information in books for later generations. Although our ways of sharing important events have changed over the years, our curiosity and interests have not changed.

It’s interesting when you view the graphs. During each world war you notice a sharp increase in the words United States, Germany, and world war. The peaks of the countries happen at about the same time, and they last for the same time interval. This graph would be helpful if you wanted a preview what would happen if a third world war occurred. The graph would mimic how it looked during the previous two world wars. The only difference that is predictable is the time of the peak. The peaks during WWI and WWII occurred a couple of years following the wars, whereas if a future world war were to occur, a peak would be seen during the period of the war. This is because our society can share that information much faster than they could during prior time periods.

Removing the Nerd Stigma

For the longest time, and to some extent today, nerds were the target of intense bullying and social ostracization. Only in the past decade have people with traditionally “fringe” interests been able to enjoy their hobbies without being considered a freak. The stigma that was once associated with nerdism has been erased; the reasons for this change include these kinds of activities going mainstream, a more general acceptance of other ideas, and the growing confidence that this demographic is experiencing due to the internet.

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