Study Guide

Major Arguments

Major Arguments

Before I bid you "Ciao, baby," I wanted to offer you a few parting reminders about what it means to think like Franco Moretti. So here's my advice—take it or leave it, but definitely give it some thoughtful consideration.

  • Stop reading and start calculating, crunching numbers, adding, computing, and doing other mathy/sciencey/geography-y things involving things like algorithms, cartography, timelines, bar charts, and lots and lots of diagramming.
  • When you think about being an English major, think hard. The field has become—how shall I put it?—boring. I'm here to spice it up. How many times can you write about the Oedipus complex in Hamlet, am I right?
  • Forget "the canon," even if that means you have to ignore everything Harold Bloom says about how important it is. This may cause you to have a psychic break with reality as you know it. Take the hit.
  • Embrace science. Sure, you may be an English major through and through, but that does not mean you can't get something meaningful out of astronomy or geography. Make the social sciences and even the hard sciences your friend.
  • Spread the word via T-shirts, bumper stickers, puffy trucker hats—whatever it takes: literature is data!