4. Social networks in novels

What happens when we apply today’s ideas about social networks back onto literature of the past? It’s easy to think of these networks as a new feature of 21st century life — but our guest Paul Saint-Amour argues that earlier novels also had a profound understanding of how information travels.

Bonus clip

Paul Saint Amour on how he turned Middlemarch into a role-playing game for his students.

Works mentioned

– George Eliot, Middlemarch

– Mark Granovetter, “The Strength of Weak Ties”

– James Joyce, Ulysses

Further reading

Paul Saint-Amour at The New York Times – Waiting for the Bomb to Drop

Rebecca Mead at The Guardian –  George Eliot, Middlemarch and me

An animated introduction by Dalton Conley to The Strength of Weak Ties

Amy Brady at Literary Hub – What Kind of Literature Lives on the Dark Web?

Andrew O’Hagan at The Guardian – Will social media kill the novel?

Nikesh Shukla at Electric Literature – Nine Novels That Stink Of Social Media

 

2 Comments

  1. Lorenzo Langstroth

    “…dozens and dozens of characters…”
    “I’m just going to see whether this tea looks brewed…”

    This is how literary analysis should work. What a great use of Granovetter’s weak ties.

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