Ten ways of looking at Reveries (and digital scholarship?)

I was of three minds,
Like a tree
In which there are three blackbirds.

–Wallace Stevens, “Thirteen Ways of Looking at a Blackbird”

Overwhelmed by the abundance of literature on the bachelor, I’ve decided to focus my dissertation remix project on Donald Grant Mitchell’s Reveries of a Bachelor as a central cultural artifact that reflected tensions over economic productivity vs aesthetic and sentimental pursuits—at least for now. By using Reveries as a focal point, I hope to open up lines of vision into larger questions about authorship, reading, publishing, and literary and cultural influence, allowing me to explore my central interest in book history. As a model for a work of digital scholarship built around a single book, I’m inspired by Steve Railton’s Uncle Tom’s Cabin and American Culture, which uses Stowe’s best-selling novel to investigate slavery, religion, sentimentalism, book history, film history, etc. (Steve was one of my dissertation advisors). I don’t think Reveries is as significant a work as UTC (it wasn’t credited with starting a war, for instance, nor did it spawn plays, children’s books, movies, and much more), but it does reflect cultural tensions around fantasy, gender, domesticity, identity, etc—and in 1900 a critic compared Reveries to UTC because of its enduring popularity.

I’m pondering at least 10 perspectives on Reveries:

1. Precursors to and influences on Reveries: In my dissertation, I trace the lineage of the literary bachelor to the British essay tradition (Addison and Steele’s Spectator club Charles Lamb, etc.) as well as to Washington Irving, whose works are typically narrated by sentimental bachelors. By plumbing full-text databases for bachelor literature published prior to the 1850s, I can enrich my account of the genre’s history, discovering (I hope) other important works. Using text mining tools, I can distill key features of the genre and compare Reveries to its predecessors as I consider its appeal in mid 19th C America.

2. Mitchell and authorship: In my dissertation, I argue that Mitchell, himself a bachelor at the time that he wrote Reveries, associated being a bachelor with having the economic and emotional freedom to write. Indeed, many authors of works narrated by sentimental bachelors were themselves bachelors. It might be interesting to see how strong the link is between the personal experience of bachelorhood and the literary imaginings of it by building and querying a database about the authors of bachelor literature. If they married, when did they do so? Is there any kind of a link between marital status and authorship in antebellum America, or is bachelorhood a rhetorical pose that emphasizes the narrator’s detachment and emotional sensitivities? Biographical data could be culled from 19th and 20th C biographical dictionaries (such as Allibone’s dictionary of American and British authors), as well as census records. To shift the perspective from biography to fiction, how many bachelor characters are writers? A database focused on bachelor literature that contained information about the marital status of characters in bachelor fiction would help me to answer these questions–but would the argument I make drawing from this database be too reductive, too focused on numbers than interpretive power? I have Jerome McGann’s and Steve Ramsay’s critiques of an positivist, “scientific” approach to humanities computing very much in mind here.

3. Publishing history: As I explain in an article published in Publishing Research Quarterly (PRQ), Reveries sustained its popularity into the twentieth century, but letters written by Mitchell’s publisher Charles Scribner II to Mitchell reveal how much they struggled to make sure that readers were buying the Scribner’s editions and not those sold by “pirate” publishers or publishers who began selling it after Reveries’ copyright expired. Mitchell and Scribner also argued with each other over what physical form new editions of Reveries should take and what Mitchell’s royalties should be. You can see who won these arguments (typically Scribner) by examining the resulting volumes. I wonder to what extent Scribner’s letters to Mitchell are typical–how publishers and authors contended with piracy, fought over royalties, determined how a book should be packaged, priced and marketed, etc. I’d love to see the records of major US publishing houses–Scribner’s, Putnam, Ticknor and Field’s, etc.–digitized so that I could dive into such issues. Other sources of information about 19th century publishing practices are already available online: I’ve identified versions of Reveries that I wasn’t previously aware of by searching eBay (often cover images are included in auction postings, so I can get a sense of physical form), and I’ve stumbled across some back issues of Publisher’s Weekly in Google Books that contain advertisements and other significant information about 19th century publishing practices.

In addition to using electronic sources to research the 19th century publishing scene, I’m making a short video version of my PRQ article. As I recall, I wasn’t able to include any images in my article, even though the visual evidence of the different forms that Reveries took is quite striking. Through a video, I could show viewers how Scribner’s tried to appeal to different market segments by publishing some fine editions of Reveries, some cheap editions, some that could fit into a pocket.
4. Textual studies: For a graduate course on textual editing, I prepared an online critical edition of the first reverie from Reveries of a Bachelor. I painstakingly collated five different different versions of Reveries–oh, the eye strain! (I stink at the Hinman collator, and I was looking at different editions with different pagination anyway). With programming help from David Seaman, I created an interface that allowed readers to toggle back and forth between the different versions. (The interface is a little clunky and kind of broken now, but it wasn’t a bad start for, what, 1998? I’m a little embarrassed now by the over-the-top rhetoric I used back then to describe the interface, though–“unique color-coding system”? Gawd.) Almost all of the variants were accidentals–minor punctuation or spelling changes–rather than substantatives, alterations that affect the meaning of the text. Still, I think one could trace changes in editorial practices and stylistic preferences–even how words are emphasized–by comparing different versions of the text.

Ten years later, new tools have emerged for comparison and collation, such as the Versioning Machine and Juxta. Could I procure or produce digital versions of significant editions and use these tools to study the textual history of Reveries? I suppose I could try to clean up already available electronic versions of Reveries, but, ugh, that seems like a whole lot of work. Maybe a complete web-based critical edition of Reveries is merited, since it appears on a fair number of syllabi and is referenced in approximately 200 scholarly works in Google Scholar. Such an edition could include all of the contexts I’m discussing in this post–precursors, reader responses, revisions of Reveries, illustrations, and songs, as well as analytical tools.
5. Interpretation and play: analysis of Reveries itself: I’m fascinated by the contexts surrounding Reveries, but I’d also like to focus on the text itself, exploring what insights analytical tools yield. If I replace “bachelor” with “spinster” throughout the text, how does that transform it? If I read backward, what happens? What words frequently appear in close proximity to one another? What words occur most frequently? And to what extent can I use text analysis tools to analyze the elements of sentimental fiction: character, narrative voice, setting, plot, tone, themes, etc.?

6. Reader response: My favorite part of my dissertation focuses on readers’ intense responses to Reveries, which are documented in fan letters, marginal annotations, letters to friends and family, commentary in reviews and books, etc. I argued that many readers adopted a position of “detached intimacy,” passionately identifying with the narrator of Reveries but keeping him at arm’s length, safely closed up between the boards of the book. As I was working on this chapter, I wanted to know to what extent the rhetoric used in the fan letters to Mitchell was typical–is the idea of detached intimacy relevant beyond Reveries? What kinds of language did nineteenth century readers typically use in making marginal annotations and writing fan letters? In analyzing these questions, perhaps I can mine The Reading Experience Database (RED) 1450-1945, which documents “the reading experiences of British subjects and overseas visitors to Britain from 1450-1945, whoever they were, and pretty much whatever they were reading.” (I wish the database included American readers, but Reveries was beloved in Britain as well as the US.) In my initial search of the database, I find that both Wordsworth and Shelley were reading works with “Reverie” in the title (Rousseau, the poet R. P.Gillies), making me think that I should explore the connections between reverie and Romanticism.

7. Re-imaginings of Reveries: In a sense, readers remixed Reveries. Emily Dickinson adored the book and used it to prompt her own “pleasant musings” with her friend Susan Gilbert. After the publication of Reveries, several reveries narrated from the spinster or old maid’s perspective appeared, challenging Mitchell’s embrace of solitude. Using text comparison tools, perhaps I could establish different literary profiles for bachelor and spinster fiction.

8. Visual culture: Reveries was first illustrated by Felix Darley, but other publishers featured different illustrations in their own editions of Reveries. How did the way that the bachelor was imagined visually change between the 1850s and 1930s? What new book illustration techniques emerged during this time period? I could use image comparison tools such as the Virtual Light Box–or even the side-by-side comparison features in MDID–to visualize these features. I’ve already started a small collection of bachelor images in Flickr–I could use Flickr’s annotation tools to add notes, and play with various methods for making Flickr mashups that reveal the similarities and differences between images.

9. Musical culture: One definition of reverie is “An instrumental composition suggestive of a dreamy or musing state” (OED). In Reveries, “music” appears 12 times, including in phrases that emphasize the link to dreaming, e.g. “All your early dreams, and imaginations, come flowing on your thought, like bewildering music” and “soul music.” I found nearly 50 songs about the “bachelor” written between 1800 and 1930 by searching the Sheet Music Consortium –including “A bachelor gay” (1917), “A Bachelor’s heart” (1882), “Bachelor reveries; Waltzes” (1883), and “Bachelor’s dream” (1873). In examining the culture of bachelorhood, I’d love to have musicians with an appreciation for 19th C/ early 20th C musical styles record some of these songs and make them available online. I wouldn’t really be qualified to analyze music, but it would be interesting to play with music information retrieval systems with these musical bachelor reveries.

10. Digital scholarship as an overarching framework/ core set of questions In the process of taking these different perspectives on Reveries, I want to reflect on digital humanities tools and methods–how I employ them, how well they work, what impact they have on my research. For instance, I want to look at how to maximize the effectiveness of searching by using keywords gleaned from text analysis. In using text analysis tools, I want to consider the effectiveness of different tools, what can we learn from them, and how we present the results of text analysis in a scholarly argument. I want to play with Sophie and other authoring tools to figure out how to present my research in an interactive, media-rich, user-friendly way. I want to look at ways to share and collaborate, such as through CommentPress, sites such as Flickr, this blog, etc. I want to think about what practical and theoretical knowledge I need to do digital scholarship and not be naïve or inefficient.

Typical me, I’m trying to focus and instead have come up with a bunch of big ideas for expanding my focus–building databases focused on American authors, reading experiences, and bachelor literature, collating different versions of Reveries (after first cleaning them up, of course), creating videos and hypertexts based on my research, etc. I need to choose what to dive into. Some of my ideas–mining non-existent databases on publishing history–will obviously have to wait, while with others–building a database of bachelor literature, for instance–I need to think through whether the result would be worth the effort and figure out the best way to go about creating such a resource. (And I would also have to learn about database design, web programming, etc–no small tasks). I’ll also need to weave these different strands into a coherent argument. Perhaps I can author an interactive, hypertextual exploration of the different dimensions of literary bachelorhood, worrying not so much about coherence as about offering insight and stimulating further exploration. But as hard as it is to shape a coherent argument, I suspect that building a navigable, meaningful hypertextual scholarly essay is even harder. For now, I’ll focus on manageable tasks: creating a video about Reveries’ publishing history, experimenting with text analysis tools, examining Reveries in the context of other bachelor texts.

How open should open research be?

As I strive to be a “digital scholar,” I’m committing myself to making my research as open as possible, sharing my bibliographies and publications online, posting notes on this blog, and offering more polished (but still kinda rough) thoughts about larger issues in my Digital Scholarship in the Humanities blog. By being open, I can try out ideas, get feedback, and, I hope, serve the research community by stimulating discussion and pointing to relevant resources. But when I start exploring an idea, my research notes are often sloppy, cryptic, and all-too-revealing of my ignorance. Does anyone really want to see this stuff–the notes on books I’m reading, my fledgling attempts at an essay–or should I just release the work that turned out well or that is relevant to a broader community? Do I risk making myself look like a fool by dumping half-baked ideas into the blogosphere and beyond? This very visibility and accountability, though, may push me to produce higher quality notes; I’ll be more likely to flesh out ideas and less likely to ignore spelling errors as I produce notes and drafts that will go online. Alternatively, I may decide to post some of my notes after I’ve had a chance to work through them–not the super-buggy draft 1 (alpha?), but the more polished, ready-for-other eyes version (beta?). I may be particularly afflicted by fear-of-looking-stupid syndrome, but I suspect that this anxiety keeps many researchers from releasing their work into the public prematurely–and such caution may be wise, given how one’s credibility can be damaged by reporting false or incomplete results (probably more of an issue in the sciences than the humanities). Maybe there’s a common understanding that materials marked “DRAFT” or blog postings are still in-process. Already my thinking has been refined through comments that folks have made on my blog postings, so I’m all for open scholarship–I’m just figuring out how open is open.

Reading Myself

My favorite chapter in my dissertation, titled “Reading with a Tender Rapture,” explores the relationship between Ik Marvel, the sentimental narrator of Reveries of a Bachelor, and his readers. I examine fan letters written to Marvel (or to Donald Grant Mitchell, the author–readers often assumed that Ik was a real person), marginal annotations in copies of the books, and reimaginings of Reveries, including by Emily Dickinson. Reveries, one the most significant bestsellers in 19th C America, moved so many readers because of what I call “detached intimacy”–readers felt profound emotional identification with Ik Marvel, but at the same time could remain a safe distance from him, as reading is associated with reverie. I rather like the term “detached intimacy” and think that it might have wider application–for instance, perhaps many of the personal relationships formed through message boards, social networking applications, virtual worlds, etc. could be considered “detached intimacy,” existing in the space of the imagination.

Since I am interested in experimenting with text analysis tools and in bringing my attention to assumptions in my own argument that I might not otherwise be aware of, I fed my article “Reading with a Tender Rapture” (an improved version of my diss chapter) into TAPOR. Here are the results (using Glasgow stop words):

Word count:

Summary: There are 3518 unique words other than those in the stop list, there are 8547 words other than those in the stop list. There are 16266 words in total including the stop words.

Words Distribution Count
mitchell 140
reveries 121
ik 108
readers 91
reading 80
letters 66
bachelor 56
book 54
marvel 50
dickinson 47
reader 44
carrie 41
intimacy 36
feeling 36
mitchell’s 35
author 33
new 33
sentimental 33
women 33
dream 29
life 28
detached 28
letter 26
press 26
heart 25
emily 25
york 24
papers 24
donald 24
fantasy 24
work 24
read 24
university 24
dreams 23
narrator 22
american 21
grant 21
real 20
writing 20
reverie 20
relationship 19
fantasies 19
domestic 19
fan 18
man 18
world 18
literature 18
distance 17
sense 16
ik’s 16
men 16
power 16
suggests 16
wrote 16
love 16
1851 15
family 15
correspondents 15
literary 15
just 15
private 15
according 14
history 14
edition 14
america 14
dreaming 14
“the 14
female 14
like 14
1852 13
nineteenth-century 13
books 13
anonymous 13
text 13
male 13
know 13
home 12
study 12
experience 12
young 12
susan 12
fans 12
away 12
father 12
bachelor’s 12
imagination 11
make 11
marvel’s 11
feelings 11
sympathy 11
social 11
ryan 11
imaginative 11
published 11
personal 11
“you” 10
dickinson’s 10
identity 10
words 10
wction 10
write 10
ideal 10
pleasure 10
culture 10
lives 10
wrst 10
ohio 10
old 9
mother 9
marriage 9
thomas 9
feb 9
audience 9
spinster 9
embraced 9
dreamer 9
copy 9
represented 9
emotional 9
form 9
woman 9
figure 8
unmarried 8
time 8
romance 8
describes 8
austin 8
responses 8
bachelorhood 8
ways 8
rhetoric 8
domesticity 8
cultural 8
enigma 8
married 8
children 8
desire 8
readers’ 8
language 8
thought 8
making 8
become 8
evidence 8
manhood 8
authors 8
control 8
critics 8
reality 8
questions 8
written 8
public 8
correspondent 8
imagined 8
1886 7
“i 7
library 7
suggesting 7
instance 7
feel 7
solitary 7
snyder 7
fiction 7
otter 7
self 7
present 7
identiwcation 7
wanted 7
different 7
held 7
great 7
writers 7
mary 7
use 7
“you 7
leisure 7
response 7
example 7
scribner’s 7
creative 7
antebellum 7
charles 7
texts 7
metaphor 7
instead 7
focuses 7
argues 7
urbana 7
vision 6
uncle 6
wife 6
used 6
particular 6
hopes 6
mind 6
age 6
1853 6
audiences 6
popular 6
means 6
little 6
zboray 6
henry 6
barbara 6
novels 6
appeal 6
early 6
rhetorical 6
values 6
dec 6
important 6
patrick 6
able 6
oxley 6
asserts 6
understand 6
characters 6
“a 6
suggest 6
actual 6
beautiful 6
book’s 6
boundaries 6
using 6
persona 6
authority 6
smallwood 6
wnd 6
needs 6
ed 6
conscious 6
view 6
thompson 6
oct 6
likewise 6
william 6
received 6
inspired 6
tom’s 5
century 5
ibid 5
acknowledged 5
imagining 5
identiwed 5
sent 5
focus 5
saw 5
voice 5
introduction 5
marry 5
uses 5
art 5
really 5
connection 5
shaped 5
direct 5
novel 5
narrative 5
melville 5
long 5
wants 5
claimed 5
future 5
insisting 5
perspective 5
day 5
wish 5
notes 5
compelling 5
shared 5
cabin 5
possible 5
friends 5
image 5
expression 5
think 5
james 5
remain 5
sensibility 5
brings 5
tension 5
come 5
mysterious 5
nell 5
romantic 5
city 5
describing 5
beloved 5
comments 5
holton 5
second 5
brodhead 5
editions 5
packet 5
reprint 5
revised 5
margins 5
correspondence 5
“by 5
greater 5
independence 5
continued 5
acts 5
makes 5
passage 5
way 5
wre 5
true 5
beinecke 5
bible 5
timon 5
asserted 5
virginia 5
detachment 5
everyday 5
women’s 5
deep 5
hawthorne 5
reviews 5
1850 5
yale 5
set 4
end 4
samuel 4
escapist 4
past 4
productive 4
lecture 4
presented 4
address 4
times 4
message 4
attention 4
knot 4
seen 4
artistic 4
truth 4
terms 4
dreamed 4
moved 4
signiwcant 4
practices 4
insisted 4
became 4
wgure 4
model 4
takes 4
privacy 4
constructed 4
inner 4
publishing 4
karr 4
authorship 4
collection 4
reveals 4
close 4
davies 4
return 4
cambridge 4
spirit 4
ultimately 4
called 4
conflict 4
tone 4
creation 4
eyes 4
face 4
sons 4
essay 4
reviewer 4
act 4
author’s 4
aunt 4
illustrations 4
shape 4
annotations 4
1850s 4
narrator’s 4
took 4
insists 4
directly 4
thoughts 4
responded 4
mode 4
comes 4
youth 4
quite 4
having 4
mood 4
pose 4
create 4
paper 4
eye 4
woman’s 4
scenes 4
manuscript 4
richard 4
practical 4
fact 4
remains 4
ability 4
touchstone 4
lead 4
elisha 4
right 4
single 4
attempt 4
experiences 4
valentine 4
based 4
value 4
brought 4
illustrated 4
relation 4
poems 4
appear 4
examine 4
sparked 4
word 4
works 4
taste 4
identities 4
pen 4
chicago 4
society 4
signiwcance 4
represent 4
approach 4
alternative 4
soul 4
oxford 4
meaning 4
twenty-four 4
establish 4
“what 4
machor 4
[new 4
wide 4
assume 4
todd 4
behind 3
fancies 3
offered 3
addressed 3
critic 3
slipping 3
state 3
calls 3
included 3
self-control 3
french 3
lived 3
laid 3
questioned 3
“to 3
elizabeth 3
holds 3
images 3
shifts 3
moving 3
seven 3
recover 3
scene 3
people 3
central 3
comfort 3
imagine 3
lose 3
savvy 3
professional 3
body 3
descriptions 3
person 3
conditions 3
created 3
step 3
hopkins 3
speak 3
thrill 3
represents 3
dorothy 3
potential 3
habit 3
contrasts 3
challenges 3
help 3
happy 3
explore 3
412 3
chapter 3
complex 3
sentimentalism 3
haven 3
bound 3
studies 3
objects 3
contrast 3
prose 3
wondered 3
scholarship 3
interaction 3
includes 3
disciplinary 3
excellent 3
god 3
moral 3
saying 3
promotes 3
recommended 3
interpretive 3
documents 3
consciousness 3
large 3
determine 3
rare 3
holland 3
character 3
compared 3
common 3
gilbert 3
thinking 3
articulated 3
pacquet 3
creators 3
contends 3
offer 3
reflect 3
group 3
crucial 3
interpretation 3
evening 3
apart 3
personae 3
offers 3
pages 3
members 3
wnds 3
marital 3
wonder 3
douglas 3
davidson 3
thank 3
desires 3
1988 3
“i” 3
ones 3
david 3
names 3
region 3
voyeur 3
particularly 3
giving 3
articulate 3
habits 3
waldo 3
sympathetic 3
solitude 3
exchange 3
style 3
voices 3
testify 3
interpreters 3
constructing 3
consider 3
sharing 3
john 3
described 3
account 3
helen 3
beyond 3
hold 3
maid 3
sept 3
effects 3
conventional 3
production 3
peering 3
forth 3
functions 3
husband 3
1854 3
magazine 3
dear 3
asserting 3
rejected 3
renaissance 3
elijah 3
best 3
creating 3
lorgnette 3
reviewers 3
dr 3
suffering 3
typical 3
instruction 3
dean 3
unknown 3
place 3
dunn 3
affection 3
idealist 3
o’brien 3
becomes 3
coming 3
material 3
advanced 3
rivalry 3
promoting 3
period 3
structures 3
picture 3
marked 3
prompt 3
katherine 3
construct 3
asked 3
incorporated 3
providing 3
describe 3
za 3
examining 3
friend 3
house 3
extent 3
wars 3
middle-aged 3
contend 3
easy 3
developed 3
support 3
admired 3
stimulated 3
order 3
project 3
light 3
bright 3
typically 3
label 3
howells 3
ambitions 3
story 3
attempts 3
status 3
preface 3
expresses 3
insight 3
version 3
remoteness 3
description 3
peer 3
expressing 3
emphasized 3
living 3
march 3
better 3
knew 3
marginal 3
grate” 3
preserved 3
hearts 3
intensely 3
musings 3
excitement 3
expressed 3
152 2
journal 2
business 2
flirt 2
learning 2
beneath 2
1922 2
priority 2
timon’s 2
relationships 2
writes 2
cathy 2
mrs 2
bertolini 2
die 2
autonomy 2
drawn 2
similar 2
writer 2
tabithy 2
genius 2
exchanges 2
engage 2
perspectives 2
provides 2
entries 2
going 2
creations 2
spontaneous 2
april 2
fluidity 2
playing 2
wear 2
astor 2
volume 2
dash 2
placing 2
vincent 2
father’s 2
admitted 2
dunn’s 2
broken 2
ribbon 2
objective 2
melville’s 2
strategy 2
st 2
shall 2
relief 2
analysis 2
maintain 2
wve 2
character” 2
identiwes 2
ashes 2
fig 2
1906 2
provide 2
passions 2
bell 2
ithaca 2
self-creating 2
scribner 2
enjoying 2
self-fashioning 2
produced 2
aside 2
transported 2
continuing 2
chastising 2
warner 2
union 2
experiments 2
title 2
explains 2
tour 2
especially 2
worried 2
vacant 2
invitation 2
pleasant 2
baltimore 2
embodiment 2
ideas 2
assumed 2
july 2
illustration 2
argue 2
admiration 2
critical 2
assert 2
tompkins 2
bourgeois 2
fasting 2
intensiwed 2
conventionally 2
1859 2
jackson 2
distinguish 2
textual 2
playfully 2
ground 2
maintaining 2
anatomies 2
characterized 2
watched 2
mutuality 2
belong 2
darnton 2
messenger 2
higher 2
josiah 2
argued 2
“home 2
http 2
discipline 2
narrates 2
reactions 2
idea 2
reveries’s 2
exemplify 2
sentimentality 2
enclosed 2
special 2
1931 2
producing 2
simultaneously 2
crafting 2
“smoke 2
hard 2
increasing 2
look 2
spiro 2
fans’ 2
human 2
hoped 2
presumably 2
vivid 2
“fancy 2
commentary 2
pure 2
harris 2
determined 2
macdonald 2
henry’s 2
massacre 2
assumes 2
earlier 2
sway 2
subtext 2
aesthetics 2
turn 2
presumption 2
contended 2
reputation 2
stimulate 2
physical 2
following 2
shows 2
deliberately 2
pushed 2
precisely 2
“charles 2
disturbed 2
“morning 2
enterprise 2
appealed 2
[the 2
cherished 2
criticized 2
provided 2
“love 2
examined 2
chariot 2
1989 2
spiritual 2
“for 2
equated 2
passages 2
boy 2
1849 2
sketches 2
observer 2
embracing 2
1986 2
good 2
features 2
1985 2
1984 2
poet 2
associating 2
invited 2
inviting 2
indecision 2
flame 2
punning 2
reads 2
near 2
self-refashioning 2
course 2
nice 2
noted 2
“your 2
wife’s 2
friendship 2
left 2
opened 2
challenging 2
cornell 2
valentines 2
fitz-james 2
fears 2
try 2
fantastic 2
keeps 2
ann 2
serve 2
gendered 2
misty 2
associated 2
things 2
imitates 2
unlike 2
man’s 2
southern 2
debate 2
lines 2
observed 2
contexts 2
marks 2
i’m 2
interpreter 2
27-05 2
‘i 2
powerful 2
hand 2
remember 2
independent 2
rapture 2
profound 2
carolina 2
younger 2
grate 2
studying 2
darley 2
1899 2
rest 2
tear 2
wne 2
broad 2
250 2
protecting 2
suspicion 2
queechy 2
fall 2
enjoy 2
1897 2
energies 2
mothers 2
united 2
enigma’s 2
led 2
tying 2
maria 2
idealized 2
bridge 2
strange 2
lost 2
position 2
helped 2
availability 2
asterisks 2
isaac 2
amy 2
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contrasting 1
receiving 1
prominent 1
lies 1
suited 1
side” 1
music” 1
preserves 1
contained 1
insights 1
1910 1
charlottesville 1
spoken 1
chokes 1
patriarchy 1
“there 1
gallant 1
upsets 1
ever-changing 1
merely 1
tennyson 1
various 1
aspirations 1
require 1
calculated 1
“bias 1
1800 1
here—perhaps 1
communal 1
are—oh 1
recent 1
validation 1
girl 1
belknap 1
pointing 1
pawley 1
elijah’s 1
fable 1
237–38 1
autobiographical 1
meanings 1
volcano 1
sought 1
“rereading 1
eden 1
goldsmith 1
capitalizing 1
purchased 1
imply 1
joy 1
150–53 1
theorists 1
substitutes 1
ribbon—not 1
asides 1
till 1
thoughtful 1
avoiding 1
narrators 1
monastic 1
farrar 1
identi-wcation 1
invokes 1
cares 1
false 1
peep 1
heart—says 1
delights 1
committing 1
self-deluded 1
dealing 1
connect 1
parches 1
south 1
trickled 1
carlyle 1
reason 1
mailing 1
bit 1
verify 1
mutually 1
revealed 1
gene 1
were—that 1
youthful 1
correspondents—all 1
chimney 1
sorts 1
relies 1
peek 1
texts” 1
spheres 1
swept 1
occupation 1
commitment 1
surrounding 1
him— 1
beverage 1
reaction 1
ambiguity 1
glasses—which 1
“reader 1
harmony 1
indulgence 1
game 1
looms 1
english 1
montreal 1
correspondents’ 1
possibly 1
boldly 1
rejecting 1
listening 1
eroding 1
marrying 1
carefully 1
marketing 1
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number 1
marvelled 1
matter 1
hieroglyphics 1
organizes 1
gratitude 1
straightforward 1
curtis 1
invoked 1
flirtation 1
positioned 1
’twould 1
portraying 1
retrospectively 1
year” 1
plates 1
vows 1
ocean 1
notions 1
protagonist 1
events 1
remove 1
separation 1
religious 1
hearth 1
“but 1
inwardly 1
”92 1
would’nt 1
ennobling 1
interpret 1
maze 1
simultaneous 1
you—i 1
draws 1
girls 1
aims”—i 1
garments 1
explosion 1
1835 1
reaches 1
says 1
manliness 1
compellingly 1
bride 1
“interpret 1
dickens 1
envelope 1
139–70 1
verb 1
leer 1
phrase 1
effusively 1
heads 1
poor 1
relationship—the 1
lingered 1
struggle 1
vehicles 1
releasing 1
necromancy 1
rereading 1
[boston 1
evaded 1
clearer 1
wider 1
subtle 1
[elijah’s] 1
[tainter] 1
imposing 1
push 1
rose 1
watcher 1
nature” 1
heart-writing 1
inclination 1
“self-same 1
night” 1
davitt 1
parchesky 1
vive 1
citing 1
adulation 1
autonomous 1
pushes 1
hoping 1
ridiculous—so 1
revolution 1
drives 1
mary’s 1
harper 1
housekeeping 1
thrilled 1
element 1
self-consciousness 1
discern 1
diminishing 1
stretching 1
unfulwlled 1
michelle 1
distiller 1
severe 1
doors 1
godlike 1
protectionist 1
pleasures 1
—i 1
1800–1950 1
criticism 1
enthusiasm 1
benevolent 1
advantage 1
echo 1
recorded 1
historians 1
tom” 1
knits 1
tasks 1
do—and 1
spying 1
wooed 1
participants 1
tapping 1
ottawa 1
promises 1
[28 1
bachelor-dreamer 1
circumstance 1
hovers 1
“bystanders 1
weeds 1
erotics 1
portrays 1
lust 1
bianchedi 1
squints 1
lack 1
bachelorship 1
metadream 1
le 1
“independent 1
confused 1
surveillance 1
feast 1
enthralling 1
bubbling 1
locate 1
precious 1
“become” 1
republic 1
173–74 1
staged 1
borders 1
year 1
warned 1
connoisseur 1
school 1
learnt 1
figuerira 1
heart—so 1
failing 1
surprise 1
biases 1
winning 1
bazin 1
self-revelation 1
aroma 1
edward 1
rewrote 1
trimming 1
death 1
commonplace 1
freud’s 1
confessed 1
book’ 1
“godfather 1
asks 1
focused 1
unsigned 1
mississippian 1
excluded 1
“reading 1
intellectual 1
situation 1
comforting 1
doing 1
humiliation 1
revision 1
“reception 1
”70 1
rarely 1
bonnets 1
unrealized 1
staging 1
temporary 1
instructing 1
overrule 1
teach 1
follow 1
convention 1
haunted 1
//etext 1
discussion 1
discovered 1
“sentimental” 1
“write 1
qxd 1
”72 1
mere 1
mobility 1
polluted 1
poring—with 1
conventions 1
indicates 1
artiwcial 1
humility 1
free 1
kindlier 1
strata 1
apologizing 1
revelatory 1
dedication 1
comment 1
self-made 1
ashe’s 1
regard 1
half-fearing 1
expect 1
1878 1
rewards 1
monday 1
ranks 1
”75 1
wrsthand 1
issues 1
inquire 1
reminding 1
defense 1
observes 1
longs 1
signiwed 1
box 1
‘write’—and 1
israel 1
1987 1
beecher 1
bow 1
accompanying 1
’”64 1
charge 1
objectionable 1
subversive 1
page 1
machinations 1
rereads 1
twenty-three 1
wnish 1
implicitly 1
hermetically 1
fiction” 1
education 1
assumption 1
267–305 1
explicitly 1
spirits 1
transmuting 1
short” 1
kent 1
wancé 1
keys 1
”79 1
stages 1
holton’s 1
insolent 1
disease 1
distortions 1
1980 1
reject 1
farewell 1
indicated 1
“reality” 1
inculcate 1
“sacred 1
good-natured 1
express 1
told 1
kindly—meditative 1
owlish 1
savoring 1
june 1
depend 1
replicates 1
wrst-person 1
treats 1
masculine 1
‘no’—but 1
viewed—or 1
cold-hearted 1
matches 1
spun 1
issued 1
eyes” 1
remaining 1
safe—there 1
cousin 1
mocked 1
violation 1
treaty 1
reeling 1
country 1
centers 1
difference 1
reading” 1
reliability 1
cast 1
completely 1
tangle 1
“enigma 1
harsh 1
dewned 1
chocolate 1
initiated 1
hands 1
testimonials 1
dream-life 1
claras 1
sentiment 1
“ludic 1
112 1
tempted 1
prompted 1
inscribe 1
acknowledging 1
purposeful 1
offering 1
“literary 1
bob 1
develops 1
“companionable 1
singular 1
cigar—and 1
emotion 1
perceived 1
1893 1
146–72 1
solely 1
matched 1
openly 1
raises 1
covered 1
understands 1
mask 1
1891 1
tomsville 1
ignore 1
enacted 1
”50 1
achieve 1
implied 1
she—like 1
wild 1
margaret 1
feels 1
it—when 1
evoke 1
giroux 1
”52 1
industry 1
sets 1
curiosity” 1
fulwllment 1
coeur 1
self-education 1
later 1
representing 1
sicherman 1
seasons 1
putnam’s 1
“spirit” 1
sealts 1
‘darlings 1
named 1
stratton-porter 1
extravagant 1
transgression 1
instrument 1
man—or 1
”54 1
mentor 1
fanciful 1
reminiscing 1
remarking 1
familial 1
examples 1
dickinsons 1
healing 1
attempting 1
“working-day 1
psychology 1
presents 1
possibility 1
satirizes 1
preserve 1
predominantly 1
improvisatrice 1
certainly 1
presence 1
sincerity 1
”56 1
1883] 1
wishing 1
[1852 1
bachelor-narrator 1
“beautiful 1
mass 1
maidens 1
roving 1
wore 1
transforming 1
fraught 1
talking 1
despite 1
”58 1
uncovered 1
treating 1
justiwcation 1
performance 1
stirred”—and 1
insert 1
scrutiny 1
proves 1
absence 1
ideality 1
“sissy 1
heart—of 1
sensing 1
ladies 1
holborn 1
glow 1
wind 1
arouse 1
feminine 1
playful 1
impulsive 1
adobeps4 1
evasions 1
displacing 1
implies 1
salutation 1
lava-like 1
joined 1
arm’s 1
arguing 1
“sea-coal 1
evasive 1
snuff 1
legitimacy 1
spilling 1
perplexed 1
madeline 1
1852] 1
receive 1
detailed 1
gaining 1
lonely 1
continue 1
bond 1
“heart-letters 1
empty 1
rebuke 1
“almost 1
difwculty 1
injunction 1
strict 1
canweld’s 1
roles 1
over—a 1
scrutinized 1
relational 1
allen 1
infused 1
controlling 1
given 1
essentially 1
fate 1
masturbatory 1
“who” 1
“pinnacle” 1
conception 1
hoped-for 1
projects 1
give-and-take 1
silence 1
integrity 1
kind-hearted 1
slightly 1
engaged 1
world—do 1
dewning 1
looker 1
merton 1
601–9 1
speciwcally 1
carried 1
musty 1
psychological 1
marveling 1
“our 1
reveries—and 1
transitory 1
substantial—and 1
great-uncle 1
imitations 1
concur 1
aspir[ing] 1
claiming 1
repudiates 1
placed 1
sad 1
valued 1
obedience 1
formation 1
iath 1
overlooking 1
creature 1
gives 1
producer 1
collecting 1
coincidence 1
220 1
moments 1
current 1
sympathies 1
leon 1
rust 1
enabled 1
moonlit 1
produces 1
truly 1
maid” 1
shifting 1
thinker 1
[knoxville 1
critic] 1
dutiful 1
215–56 1
outrage 1
”36 1
bounds 1
did’nt 1
articulates 1
analogous 1
addresses 1
”37 1
ditty 1
discourage 1
list 1
dorothys 1
griefs 1
braver 1
unwed 1
“ike 1
tenderhearted 1
constructive 1
”38 1
disavowing 1
associations 1
“still 1
mississippi 1
claims 1
sender 1
expectation 1
comfortably 1
commodity 1
autograph 1
augosto 1
lifesome 1
separateness 1
cognitive 1
beholds 1
ben-hur” 1
labeling 1
apparently 1
tangible 1
alienation 1
recommend 1
literally 1
consumerist 1
interact 1
refuse 1
gone 1
“kept 1
“reveal 1
appropriate 1
‘boo’ 1
reed 1
impulse 1
caused 1
leisured 1
walk 1
[sentimental 1
longevity 1
genre 1
uncertainties 1
nina 1
norton 1
burn 1
meditations 1
“pleasure 1
concrete 1
“life 1
attacking 1
harshly 1
commented 1
“reveries 1
lisa 1
nurture-centered 1
preferring 1
dominant 1
overcome 1
scrutinizes 1
referring 1
ambition—and 1
pleasure” 1
266 1
“work” 1
susie—when 1
154 1
heat 1
“secularized 1
metaphorically 1
womanhood 1
bewts 1
connected 1
commoner 1
elements 1
“spinster 1
twenty-nine 1
cynical 1
carries 1
extended 1
stage 1
bloomian 1
comfortable 1
northampton 1
single-mindedness 1
“see 1
“tangible 1
recalled 1
stylistic 1
reclining 1
two-way 1
ardent 1
hidden 1
—readers 1
songs 1
years 1
returning 1
‘signiwcance’ 1
1878] 1
heal 1
2002] 1
stowe’s 1
pseud 1
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berkeley 1
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kinderhook 1
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—yet 1
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oxley’s 1
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”10 1
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railton 1
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”11 1
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wisconsin 1
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53z 1
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ps2404 1
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jonathan 1
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350 1
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”19 1
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133 1
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“bachelor 1
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mingled 1
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//www 1
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sucked 1
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man—and 1
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lover 1
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brothers 1
249 1
“creative 1
“read 1
tinged 1
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—when 1
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arranged 1
long—he 1
essence 1
quotidian 1
luring 1
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cloth 1
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anybody 1
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79 1
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alderman 1
him- 1
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“relaxed 1
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warmth 1
seventeenyear-old 1
labor 1
white 1
“‘have 1
answering 1
emily’s—and 1
breeds 1
bystanders 1
enjoyed 1
heart—an 1
enforce—over 1
newspaper 1
somber 1
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softness 1
embark 1
unwind 1
roam 1
responsibilities 1
writing—comes 1
realize 1
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gay 1
locations 1
chafed 1
you’ll 1
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say 1
blurted 1
melancholic 1
distant 1
correspondent’s 1
reply 1
wide-ranging 1
met 1
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fashionable 1
sensual 1
unexampled 1
judge 1
style—quotation 1
charm 1
instruments 1
“disciplinary 1
mcgillqueen’s 1
ideals 1
“sweet 1
self-delusion 1
narratives 1
“somebody’s 1
satisfy 1
“serious”

Some observations:

  • variations of the word “read” are frequent of course
  • “letter” appears more than book–presumably b/c I’m writing about fan letters, but I also think the discourse of the letter–two people connecting to each other–is the mode of detached intimacy
  • terms of sentiment–intimacy, feeling, heart–appear frequently
  • there seems to be a tension between relationship (19) and distance (17), as well as between “dreams” and the “real”
  • “new” appears 33 times–reflecting the sense of renewal that comes from reading, as well as the significance of New York
  • women (33) appear more than men (16), although man (18) appears more than woman (9)–maybe I make a bigger deal out of reading producing a “new man”?
  • power, control are fairly prominent

So I think it would be pretty interesting to have a contrasts tool, so that you could see the weighting of antonyms: man/woman, dream/reality, etc. I’m also realizing how important it is to view words incontext–“new” could mean fresh, but it could also be used to modify “york”

TAPOR does allow you to list word pairs.  Here are those that appear more than once.  I find it interesting that “her own” (20) and “his own” (14) appear frequently, reflecting the desire to craft an identity (“the self,” 9) ; “i am,” 6) o outf the experience of reading. 

Summary: There are 11994 unique word pairs , and there are 16623 word pairs in total. 10213 word pairs occurred once and 1044 word pairs occurred twice.

Word Pairs Counts
of the 91
in the 63
ik marvel 46
of a 38
as a 38
and the 38
the book 35
mitchell s 35
to the 34
a bachelor 33
that the 33
their own 29
of reveries 28
with the 26
reveries of 25
that she 25
from the 25
to ik 24
new york 24
to be 23
mitchell papers 23
emily dickinson 23
detached intimacy 23
the bachelor 23
the author 22
rather than 21
donald grant 21
grant mitchell 21
by the 21
of reading 21
as the 21
her own 20
that he 20
in a 17
on the 17
the reader 16
ik s 16
university press 16
fan letters 15
is a 15
in which 15
i have 14
his own 14
for the 14
nineteenth century 14
according to 14
of his 13
even as 13
his readers 13
of feeling 13
the heart 12
bachelor s 12
in his 12
as well 12
well as 12
in her 12
of mitchell 12
marvel s 12
the letters 12
as he 11
to donald 11
edition of 11
such as 11
sense of 10
dickinson s 10
the letter 10
suggests that 10
as she 10
a man 10
that mitchell 10
of an 10
as if 10
with ik 10
reveries and 10
to mitchell 10
of her 10
it was 10
at the 10
the narrator 10
it is 9
with mitchell 9
the power 9
the text 9
and that 9
the sentimental 9
in this 9
but also 9
dream life 9
s reveries 9
of ik 9
the self 8
just as 8
with a 8
university of 8
one of 8
such a 8
power of 8
that i 8
1852 mitchell 8
study of 8
she is 8
1851 mitchell 8
history of 8
their letters 8
the world 8
as they 8
to reveries 8
was the 8
the same 8
the dream 8
as an 8
and how 8
reading and 8
a sense 8
of my 8
that is 8
not only 8
reading in 8
a book 8
in reveries 8
copy of 7
of your 7
and i 7
him to 7
it as 7
author and 7
bachelor narrator 7
marvel urbana 7
and to 7
ryan and 7
you are 7
in their 7
be a 7
is the 7
about the 7
of this 7
by a 7
the ideal 7
of their 7
of emily 7
carrie to 7
to his 7
urbana ohio 7
a sentimental 7
which the 7
focuses on 7
for instance 7
was a 7
scribner s 7
writing to 6
him and 6
with his 6
reveries in 6
century america 6
i am 6
an anonymous 6
between the 6
uncle tom 6
her father 6
so that 6
in my 6
mitchell reveries 6
for a 6
at least 6
dreams of 6
the real 6
able to 6
readers and 6
a spinster 6
book s 6
all the 6
and more 6
the mother 6
next to 6
to a 6
through the 6
we can 6
that ik 6
mitchell and 6
readers in 6
in nineteenth 6
from a 6
letters and 6
the wrst 6
a woman 6
of american 6
to make 6
a letter 6
in reading 6
to him 6
feb 1852 6
book and 6
themselves to 6
the novel 6
fantasy and 6
was not 6
that they 6
readers as 6
14 feb 6
of letters 6
they were 6
the ways 5
s cabin 5
dickinson to 5
women s 5
i had 5
in books 5
reading acts 5
the margins 5
reveries was 5
to me 5
to her 5
the narrative 5
what he 5
than a 5
to put 5
that reading 5
feeling and 5
suggesting that 5
when he 5
you and 5
introduction to 5
relationship with 5
mitchell the 5
and thomas 5
letters in 5
the history 5
wants to 5
upon the 5
letters of 5
barbara ryan 5
the relationship 5
the reverie 5
city grate 5
e c 5
the i 5
than the 5
after the 5
the reveries 5
oct 1851 5
narrator and 5
many readers 5
might be 5
tom s 5
how they 5
of detached 5
writing in 5
wanted to 5
to become 5
the 1850s 5
the cultural 5
his correspondents 5
book of 5
under the 5
distance from 5
reveries as 5
for example 5
bachelor and 5
and its 5
part of 5
his reveries 5
ik was 5
patrick henry 5
dreaming and 5
away from 5
through his 5
vision of 5
responses to 5
seems to 5
the dreams 5
of self 5
a city 5
a means 5
with her 5
do not 5
at her 5
means of 5
female readers 5
you have 5
readers were 5
themselves as 5
that a 5
that reveries 5
c w 5
american literature 5
mitchell was 4
since they 4
the correspondent 4
them and 4
sympathy with 4
as both 4
for pleasure 4
american culture 4
but the 4
reading for 4
of manhood 4
as much 4
ohio 30 4
book the 4
author as 4
to know 4
to austin 4
into the 4
wrote to 4
a solitary 4
it would 4
a fantasy 4
reprint new 4
i would 4
based on 4
insisting that 4
have you 4
as you 4
acknowledged that 4
30 oct 4
the most 4
york oxford 4
anonymous reader 4
right to 4
the second 4
wrst reverie 4
and as 4
the life 4
way that 4
distance and 4
inspired by 4
the personal 4
old maid 4
of domestic 4
while ik 4
work of 4
relationship between 4
could be 4
reveries mitchell 4
found in 4
samuel otter 4
by reading 4
mitchell in 4
into a 4
she wrote 4
authors and 4
ik and 4
their audience 4
have written 4
marvel 14 4
wrote in 4
act of 4
they are 4
him or 4
she was 4
s fans 4
the dreamer 4
ik as 4
to them 4
ability to 4
marvel the 4
the beloved 4
oxford university 4
and other 4
an old 4
desire to 4
because it 4
both the 4
on his 4
women and 4
i will 4
she would 4
she could 4
susan warner 4
reverie of 4
the work 4
by his 4
to dream 4
letters as 4
and you 4
life of 4
how and 4
rhetoric of 4
and a 4
home and 4
anonymous to 4
because he 4
could not 4
at once 4
will be 4
reader is 4
of bachelor 4
a young 4
charles scribner 4
to create 4
and his 4
she will 4
woman s 4
narrator s 4
ways in 4
attempt to 4
identiwed with 4
in america 4
reading the 4
published reviews 4
author s 4
identiwcation with 4
would be 4
ik the 4
the rhetoric 4
is not 4
the imagination 4
write to 4
much as 4
which i 4
he is 4
authority of 4
to their 4
although the 4
twenty four 4
letter to 4
1853 mitchell 4
and detachment 4
work and 4
s sons 4
to have 4
real and 4
he was 4
father and 3
sympathy and 3
a great 3
know what 3
love for 3
the conflict 3
he wants 3
of domesticity 3
privacy and 3
voice of 3
them to 3
his bachelorhood 3
of women 3
of evidence 3
through their 3
and author 3
even in 3
william dean 3
in 1886 3
how the 3
what is 3
view of 3
and donald 3
do you 3
the way 3
this passage 3
york charles 3
a love 3
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