More Culture Maps

The images linked below are two more examples of the material I’m generating for my dissertation. The first is a visualization of the authors and literary references (in proper noun form) made by New York Times reviewers of Pynchon’s books. The second image is the same, only drawn from Amazon customer reviews of Pynchon’s books. Comparing the two, you can see how different sorts of cultural reference (and different levels of density of reference) exist in the sets of text.

Both images were created using the wonderful web gizmo Wordle, which allows users to upload their own data and create custom visualizations.

Culture Map: NYT Reviews

Culture Map: Amazon Reviews

4 thoughts on “More Culture Maps”

  1. Hi Matt,

    Glad you asked! That is “I”–the voice of the reviewer. I decided to leave it in because it’s such a strong presence (and totally absent from the NYT reviews). There were a few boundary cases in deciding what authors and other real-world entities to include.

    I should also note that “Pynchon” and the titles of all of his novels have been omitted here because they’d be too big to scale effectively with the smaller stuff.


  2. Well, I’m trying to make the visual point that the Amazon reviews are far more explicitly subjective than the professional reviews. People write themselves into the reviews in a way that’s quite different from the typical professional book review.

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