Computational approaches to literary studies are too often conjured as abstract shibboleths hailed as either messianic saviors or apocalyptic portents. Hoyt Long's new work, The Values in Numbers: Reading Japanese Literature in a Global Information Age, is perhaps the first book in the field of modern Japanese literary studies to actually utilize such tools. It masterfully cuts through this reified binary logic of “techno-utopian” endeavor (p. 277) versus “patently heretical venture” (p. 278) to demonstrate the potentialities and limitations of digital analytical techniques with sharp lucidity.

Those following Long's run of articles on network analysis and topic modeling will know how his scholarship moves beyond proof-of-concept toward full-fledged execution of modeling programs to demonstrate “how these new frames for interpretation alter the stories we are accustomed to telling” about literary texts (p. 173). Along with Andrew Piper and Richard So at McGill, Long, who co-directs the Textual Optics Lab...

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