The Dragonfly's Gaze Blog

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How good are our texts, really? Quality assurance for literary texts from various sources

by Ulrike Henny and Christof Schöch — this post originally appeared on the CLiGS blog. Some weeks ago, we made our “New Year’s release” of text collections available. We publish the texts in the “CLiGS” group’s GitHub repository called “textbox“ and archive each release on Zenodo where they get a DOI. The texts are encoded in TEI with relatively detailed...

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The Schiller-Kleist Uncertainty Principle (guest post)

This is a guest post, written by Philip Dürholt, a student in the “Digital Humanities” program (BA and MA) at the Department for Literary Computing, University of Würzburg. As always, comments are welcome! I’m a student at the University of Würzburg. My subjects are Philosophy and Digital Humanities. Last winter semester I had an interesting mix of courses: Quantitative Analysis...

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What’s the simplest way of telling verse and prose apart?

Everyone knows that verse and prose are different. Well, there are two exeptions: the first is Monsieur Jourdain in Molière’s play Le bourgois gentilhomme, who only learns about that difference from his “maître de philosophie”. The other exception is the computer, for which both prose and verse are simply and equally strings of characters. Now, if you have nice TEI-encoded texts,...

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How to Create Lemmatized (French) Text for Topic Modeling

It would not, some years ago, have occurred to me that anyone would want to reduce literary texts to the following pitiful state: “me avoir tu faire un rapport bien sincère / ne déguiser tu rien de ce que avoir dire mon père / tout mon sens à moi-même en être encor charmer : / il estimer Rodrigue autant que...

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Extracting selected text from XML files using lxml in Python

As you can probably guess from the title, this post is a companion piece to another recent post dealing with the creation of simple TEI from HTML in Python (actually, using Python as a wrapper to several Regular Expressions). Once you have created such TEI files, have annotated them more richly by hand or by some other means, or were...

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Of the Digital Humanities considered as a Jazz ensemble

We frequently speak of Digital Humanities projects – in which people from one or several disciplines such as literary studies, musicology and/or art history work together with colleagues from computer science and/or statistics – using concepts like inter- or transdisciplinarity or like collaboration.[1] The danger, we quickly notice, lies in the “divison of labor” such arrangements imply. Such division of...

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Enrichment by Elimination, or: How to turn HTML into simple TEI using Python

There are lots of full text repositories of literary works out there, be it the venerable Project Gutenberg (founded in 1971, when the internet was just a few dozen computers), a pioneer like Gallica (with increasing amounts of plain text in the 90-95% correct OCR range), or a crowdsourced efforts like Wikisource (with nifty quality indicators). Closer to my geographical...

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Out now: French Literary Studies and the Digital Paradigm Shift

In what seems like a distant past, that is in september 2012, Lars Schneider and me organized a two-day session at the bi-annual conference of the German French Scholars’ Association in Leipzig (Frankoromanistenkongress; website no longer available!). The other day, the proceedings finally came out and we are of course very happy and proud. Just because it is digital doesn’t...

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Topic Modeling French Crime Fiction

For some reason I can’t explain, I have had for many years a very keen interest in crime fiction, especially French crime fiction written since the 1950s, roughly. Some of my favorite authors are Léo Malet, Jean-Patrick Manchette, Sébastien Japrisot and Didier Daeninckx. And it is not for no reason that I was drawn to Mitzi Morris’ stylometric murder mystery...

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Principal Component Analysis for Literary Genre Stylistics

Last week, we had our little digital humanities conference here in Würzburg, called <philtag n=”11″/> because this was the eleventh annual edition of the event. It was a great event, with plenty of wonderful talks about digital editing of manuscripts, immersive virtual reality, 3D laser-scans of cuneiform writing, network analysis of drama, and a lot more. For me, it was...

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Big? Smart? Clean? Messy? Data in the Humanities

(Please note that a revised version of this post has been published in the Journal for Digital Humanities in december 2013. – The original post is a slightly edited version of a talk I gave at the European Summer School “Culture & Technology at the University of Leipzig, Germany, on July 26 2013.) This talk is about data in the...

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My DH2013 program, possibly

The Digital Humanities Conference 2013 in Lincoln, Nebraska will start very soon. The program is packed with long and short talks and panel sessions in six parallel tracks, and of course the whole breadth of DH is represented. But computational text analysis seems to be one of the major topics again, after it was so prominent last year at DH2012...

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What the perfect repository for text analysis looks like (to me)

The longer I work with various collections of literary texts, available in various formats, and for use with various tools, the more I would like to have a nice repository which me and others could use to ingest, store, transform, update and extract text collections. So what would this repository look like? Basically, I’m describing a use case, and would...

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Annotation, or: it doesn’t always have to be quantitative analysis

Up to now – and this means for its first year, my first post here dating from 12 months ago – this blog has been primarily concerned, with respect to text analysis, with quantitative approaches. However, this is of course only one part of computational text analysis, and computationally supported manual annotation of texts is another one. This is what...