Matthew Price “Mapping the Information of Literary Space”
The current “spatial turn” in the humanities has seen scholars bring renewed vigor to the study of literary geography. Engaging and extending such scholarship, this talk introduces a method of reading that records the production of spatial significance in narrative fiction. Through an analysis of Charles Dickens’s Little Dorrit, I offer this method of “mapping” previously unexplored aspects of narrative geographies, such as the existence of “major” and “minor” spaces, the speed of narrative movement, and the relationship between structural and referential significance. Combining the use of new digital tools with older methods of literary analysis, the method encourages scholars to examine the production of narrative space in the light of the socio-spatial contexts out of which a literary geography emerges.