Charlie Gleek deposited “In This Way the Moons and the Seasons Passed”: Distantly Reading the Literary Criticism of Things Fall Apart. in the group TC Marxism, Literature, and Society on MLA Commons 6 years, 7 months ago
I employ distant reading techniques and data visualization tools to assess the literary criticism of Chinua Achebe’s Things Fall Apart. My findings suggest that the scholarly literary criticism of Things Fall Apart did not occur independently with the publication of Achebe’s work in 1958, but was a part of a larger trend in literary criticism and theory associated with the establishment of postcolonial studies. Moreover, distantly reading the literary criticism of Things Fall Apart points towards the ways in which critics have narrowly focused on framing Achebe’s text as a work of African culture and colonialism, in comparison with other texts in the genre. This has implications not only for locating Achebe’s text within a narrow literary genre but also for the ways in which literary scholars can apply quantitative literary analysis to literary criticism in order to make inferences about the production of literary theory and culture.