Martin Paul Eve deposited Close Reading with Computers: Genre Signals, Parts of Speech, and David Mitchell’s Cloud Atlas in the group LLC 20th- and 21st-Century American on MLA Commons 1 year, 6 months ago
David Mitchell’s Cloud Atlas (2004) contains six different generic registers. This article is the first to explore computationally the linguistic mechanisms that create these genre effects. Authorship attribution techniques incorrectly cluster the chapters of Cloud Atlas as distinct ‘authors’ using anything above the nineteen most-common words. This has implications for understandings of literary style and authorship. The seafaring parts of Mitchell’s novel, however, do not correlate with the writings of Herman Melville using Burrows’s delta method. Part-of-speech trigram visualization and analysis reveals the unique present-tense linguistic phrasings (NNP NNP VBZ and NNP VBZ DT) that lend pace to the Luisa Rey section of the novel.