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The Distant Reading Compendium: A virtual edited volume


The Distant Reading Compendium

Welcome to the Distant Reading Compendium. This virtual edited volume unites contributions that have emerged from the COST Action Distant Reading for European Literary History (CA16204).

Note that this edited volume is both virtual (in the sense that the papers included here have first been published elsewhere, in Open Access, and are only referenced and contextualized here) and a work in progress (in the sense that we will add further papers emerging from the COST Action network in the future).

Reference: The Distant Reading Compendium, edited by Christof Schöch and Maciej Eder. Trier: Distant Reading for European Literary History, 2022. URL:, DOI: 10.5281/zenodo.6513699.

Front Matter

Introduction to the volume

Christof Schöch and Maciej Eder

This introduction presents the COST Action Distant Reading for European Literature, which ran from 2017 to 2022, and its key output, the European Literary Text Collection (ELTeC). We aim to structure and summarize the key findings reported on in the various publications that make up this virtual edited volume of publications that have been created by the participants in this networking project.

Section 1: Building ELTeC

This section is dedicated to papers describing the process of designing and building the European Literary Text Collection (ELTeC) and encoding the texts contained in each corpus in XML-TEI.

In Search of Comity: TEI for Distant Reading

Lou Burnard, Christof Schöch, Carolin Odebrecht

Creating the European Literary Text Collection (ELTeC): Challenges and Perspectives

Christof Schöch, Roxana Patraș, Diana Santos, Tomaž Erjavec

The Serbian Part of the ELTeC – from the Empty List to the 100 Novels Collection

Aleksandra Trtovac, Vasilije Milnović, and Cvetana Krstev

Novels and Authors of the Serbian ELTeC Collection

Cvetana Krstev, Ranka Stanković

OCR and TEI for the Production of ELTeC – Würzburg Training School, 16-17 April 2018

Jelena Andonovski

From Close to Distant Reading of 100 Romanian Novels

Luiza Marinescu

Section 2: Annotating ELTeC

This section contains papers concerned with the process of adding annotations to one or several ELTeC collections, in particular annotations pertaining to part of speech, dependency relations, and named entities.

Annotation of the Serbian ELTeC Collection

Ranka Stanković, Cvetana Krstev, Branislava Šandrih Todorović, and Mihailo Škorić

Distant Reading Training School 2020: Named Entity Recognition & Geo-Tagging for Literary Analysis

Ranka Stanković

Section 3: Analysing ELTeC

The papers in this section are dedicated to the analysis of one or several of the corpora contained in ELTeC, with the focus being for example on the titles of the novels or on detecting direct speech.

Thresholds to the ‘Great Unread’: Titling Practices in Eleven ELTeC Collections

Roxana Patras, Carolin Odebrecht, Ioana Galleron, Rosario Arias, Berenike J. Herrmann, Cvetana Krstev, Katja Mihurko Poniž, Dmytro Yesypenko

Detecting Direct Speech in Multilingual Collection of 19th Century Novels

Joanna Byszuk, Michał Woźniak, Mike Kestemont, Albert Leśniak, Wojciech Łukasik, Artjoms Šeļa, Maciej Eder, and others

Short Term Scientific Mission to Krakow: Comparative Stylistic and Morphosyntactic Analysis of ELTeC Texts Using Stylo R Package

Mihailo Škorić

Workshop “Methods and Tools of Distant Reading Adapted to Multiple European Languages” at the Galway Training School

Mihailo Škorić

From Onions to Champagne – Food and Drink in the SrpELTeC Corpus

Duško Vitas

SrpELTeC on Platforms: Udaljeno čitanje, Aurora, noSketch

Ranka Stanković, Mihailo Škorić, and Petar Popović

White as Snow, Black as Night – Similes in Old Serbian Literary Texts

Cvetana Krstev

Ideas and Observations from the Time of the ELTeC Corpus – a Selection of Quotations

Cvetana Krstev

Serbian ELTeC Sub-Collection in Wikidata

Milica Ikonić Nešić, Ranka Stanković, and Biljana Rujević

Periodização automática: Estudos linguístico-estatísticos de literatura lusófona

Diana Santos, Emanoel Pires, Cláudia Freitas, Rebeca Schumacher Fuão, and João Marques Lopes

Analysis of Similes in Serbian Literary Texts (1860-1920) Using Computational Methods

Cvetana Krstev, Jelena Jaćimović, and Duško Vitas

Textometric Methods and the TXM Platform for Corpus Analysis and Visual Presentation

Jelena Jaćimović

Doctors in Lusophone Literature

Diana Santos

Section 4: Theoretical concerns

This section is dedicated to papers that address issues of literary theory and literary history that are of concern when digital corpora and algorithmic methods of analysis are used in Literary Studies.

Apie skaitymą iš toli ir iš arti [About Distant and Close Reading]

Saulius Keturakis

Section 5: Beyond ELTeC, beyond the Action

Work in the Action has in many cases also looked beyond ELTeC or beyond the immediate context of the Action to consider more general issues of Distant Reading, Computational Literary Studies, or Digital Humanities. This section contains papers from this angle.

The Splendors and Mist(Eries) of Romanian Digital Literary Studies

Roxana Patras, Ioana Galleron, Camelia Gradinaru, Ioana Lionte, and Lucreţia Pascaru

Stylometry in a Bilingual Setup

Silvie Cinková and Jan Rybicki

Parallel Stylometric Document Embeddings with Deep Learning Based Language Models in Literary Authorship Attribution

Mihailo Škorić, Ranka Stanković, Milica Ikonić Nešić, Joanna Byszuk, and Maciej Eder

These Quick-Reading Times: Distant Reading Moore’s Poetic Style

Justin Tonra

What Is Distant Reading?

Justin Tonra

On Poetic Topic Modeling: Extracting Themes and Motifs From a Corpus of Spanish Poetry

Borja Navarro-Colorado

Europäische Literaturgeschichte. Ein Gespräch mit Christof Schöch

Christof Schöch

Die europäische Literaturgeschichte wird neu geschrieben. Digital Humanities an Uni Trier bereiten Literatur neu auf


Section 6: Distant Reading Recommends

This section references the blog posts from the Distant Reading Recommends series. The posts in this series describe individual novels from ELTeC that have been unjustly forgotten.

Distant Reading Recommends: Sab by Gertrudis Gómez de Avellaneda

Borja Navarro Colorado and Rosario Arias

Distant Reading Recommends: Tovaryshky (Friends) by Olena Pchilka

Dmytro Yesypenko

Distant Reading Recommends: Ships that Pass in the Night by Beatrice Harraden

Luminița Andrada Baldovin, Georgiana Aurelia Crivăț, Gianina Drăgan, Diana Florentina Geantă, and Andra-Mihaela Vlădoiu

Distant Reading Recommends: Zeleno busenje (Green Turf) by Edhem Mulabdić

Vedad Mulavdić, and Meliha Handžić

Distant Reading Recommends: Beatin dnevnik (Beata’s Diary) by Luiza Pesjak

Katja Mihurko Poniž

Distant Reading Recommends: Nove (The New Women) by Jelena Dimitrijević

Cvetana Krstev, and Vasilije Milnovic

Distant Reading Recommends: Under the Yoke by Ivan Vazov

Ellie Boyadzhieva

Distant Reading Recommends: Iancu Jianu by N. D. Popescu

Roxana Patras

Distant Reading Recommends: Kuprelis (The Hunchback) by Ignas Šeinius

Saulius Keturakis