Digital Humanities

Wordle: The Nightingale and the Rose

“Digital humanities technologies are the best way to interpret literature.” This statement is clearly subjective. While I adore my laptop, iPad, even my kindle that provides me with hundreds of books in an instant and I do firmly believe that these digital and technological tools will one day dominate our lives, I also firmly believe that bits and bytes will never completely over shadow paper, printed copies. Personally, I can never imagine cherishing something on a computer screen whether it be a picture, piece of art, anything of sentiment. Anyone who is a admirer of literature, can vouch for the real thing, as opposed to its digital counterparts. Although the content remains the same; symbolism unchanged, more value is being put into digital tools more than ever these days. This brings me to my view on digital humanities as being the ‘best’ way to interpret literature: it may be useful, and innovative, it will never completely over shadow our soon to be primitive ways of interpreting literature. Being in a classroom, pages at hand, being able to highlight, rich conversation interpreting layer upon layer of the unfathomed words left to us by authors, poets and playwrights, in my opinion, is far superior to using digital tools.

But with the switch to more technology based methods, using technology to aid interpretation of text does have benefits, as well.  As opposed to a classroom setting where a certain pace is maintained, being on a computer provides you with time as a leisure, and can possibly provide readers with different perspectives and methods on interpreting literature.  The Wordle is simple, but useful tool. It aids in looking at words, connotations, denotations, etc. in literature. And the Ngram viewer helps when looking into historical content of text. These new methods are providing opportunities that would be possible otherwise, but time consuming, tedious and useless in the end because of all the unnecessary effort.

In all, I believe that there will always be multiple methods, tools, and technologies that help us in finding new perspectives and insight on what we already know. The important part is not the ones you use, but how you use them.

Print Friendly