Diarists as Readers:
Thick Journals and Literary Networks
in the Prozhito Data
Andrew Janco (Haverford College)
and Philip Gleissner (Ohio State)
Goals for This Unit
Use Prozhito data to explore a concrete research problem in the field of literary history, namely the reception of thick journals.
Illuminate the process of capturing and operationalizing data.
Walk through the steps of an exploratory analysis of the data as networks and make first observations about the way Soviet readers perceived literary magazines.
Learn the basics of social network analysis, using the online tool Palladio.
The Thick Journal
- monthly publications
- 150-250 pages
- circulation between 70,000 and 2,000,000
- literary texts (first publication), literary criticism, journalism
- sizable editorial teams
- expansion of journals
- numerous new publications
- growth in press runs
- Question: What impact does this have on Soviet literature?
Journals and the Literary Field under Late Socialism
- Centrifugal forces and fragmentation of the field of literary journals
- Throughout the 1960s and 1970s, it becomes less likely for authors to publish in several journals.
- Some journals share more authors than others, i.e. some are more similar than others.
- Journals create competitive market for literature under the conditions of state socialism.
Soviet Journals Reconnected
- bibliographical data for six Moscow-based periodicals between 1956 and 1972 from Soviet Chronicle of Periodical Publications
- data parsing, normalization, and creation of database
- ca. 10,000 contributions and 3,000 authors
From Bibliographical Data to the Literary Field
- idea: use bibliographical data to visualize and analyze the late socialist literary landscape
- key question: contribution of authors to literary magazines
- network: stuff (nodes) and connections between stuff (edges)
- a bimodal network graph
- Need more terminology? Check out Miriam Posner's network analysis glossary
The Landscape of Late Socialist Journals
- represent information as unimodal graph:
- edge = shared author
- edge weight = relative number of shared authors
Six Moscow-Based Journals between 1960 and 1964
- some journals share a larger pool of authors
- openness to each other's authors and aesthetic
- similarity in form and content
- ties decrease diachronically
From Cultural Production to Cultural Consumption
Journals shared varying numbers of authors: social landscape of the field of literary production and similarities and differences between journals
Over time, ties between journals in terms of shared authors grow weaker.
Question: Does this matter to readers? Are we indeed watching a competitive market of cultural production AND consumption?
Proposal: Trace literary reception in the diaries in the Prozhito archive. Which journals do diarists read and mention at the same time?
Step One: The Data
Step One: The Data
Step Two: Create a Network in Palladio
Step Three: Evaluate Data as Unimodal Graph
Learn to use Cytoscape with Miriam Posner's tutorial...
Some of our preliminary observations are consistent with the fragmentation of literary production discussed in the beginning.
Versatility of the journal Znamia.
Mutual exclusivity of...
Outsider position of...
Return to qualitative analysis: journals referenced in a negative or positive way, in-depth or peripherally?
Make sure the data is complete and weed out data that doesn’t fit, e.g. diaries of literary authors.