Our third lab of the semester has given us even more of a closer look at the complexity of endless archives. After my selection of Fiction, on the Project Gutenburg website I was immediately consumed by all of the data that this archive has stored away for humanity to have access to. As i progressed in my research of the various works i selected, the issue of subsets of the genre of fiction surfaced for me. Is it problematic that there are different subsets of fiction? For Example: Tarzan of the apes is a adventurous work of fiction, where in contrast, to a work from Sir Arthur Doyle like Sherlock Holmes. I am curious to know if there is any relevance to different subsets within our selected Genre?
Nevertheless, Data collection was not too overwhelming for me once navigating from work to work became familiar in the process. However, i can’t help but ask myself: how do researchers organize the endless amount of data that is equipped for every individual unit of text? The answer to that question for me is elusive, but i can see much better after completing this lab, that this is a very useful tool or exercise to maximize the amount of information that can be found beneficially for various literary research.
This lab has forced me to think beyond, in terms of how we can search for information that is in a given literary work. It is very encouraging to see the an organization like Project Gutenburg, because i didn’t previously know about this resource that is available for free. This data collection has made me wonder how much further we can extend the boundaries of literary research, because until this class, this process of data collection as an approach to look at literary text is completely new to me. I’m a senior English Literature major, and the fact that i have just now been introduced to Project Gutenburg is surprising in my opinion. It is nice to know that there is a free resource available for many different relevant classic works of literature. Overall, this exercise or lab of Data collection was a lot less painful than I originally anticipated. Anytime i encounter a spreadsheet, i usually prepare myself for a tedious afternoon of suffering. However, this was not the case in this lab. This lab exposed us to the benefits of data collection, and in the future this approach to analysis will be heavily considered by me personally during any research of classical literature. Arguably, it better organizes information that is within a work, making it much easier to deliver an up to date, modern, and digitally mindful analysis to work that can be centuries old. To me this a very compelling way to approach different genres of literary texts.
The biggest challenges were just organizationally surfaced in the process of data collection, but as i said earlier in this post, after the navigation becomes familiar the task is relatively painless.