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“Literature Map”

I like to read. I have many “favorite” authors. Reading their work keeps me busy, but I try to keep open to authors I have not tried yet. Sometimes I get recommendations from family and friends, but I have begun to use the Internet for more recommendations. The literature map site is a new way for me to find authors I can expect to like. Type in an author’s name at the Web site and you get names of other authors. The other authors move away from the center. According to the site developer, the closer another author’s name is to the one you entered, the more you should like their work.

Here is the result of typing Jorge Luis Borges into the site.

The closest, interrelated authors are the ones I have read and highly regarded: Jose Saramago, T.S. Eliot, and Italo Calvino. They are authors whose imaginative power never exhausts. They place their characters into ordinary situations that veer off to the imaginary realms. Irony the destiny of many of their works.

A different picture results for Mikhail Bulgakov.

Although his works, including the most famous and creative The Master and Margarita, a sarcastic work of the Stalin period, were banned during his lifetime, Bulgakov is heavily influenced by Lemontov, Pelevin, Dovlatov, and Edward Albee, none of whom I have read.

Apropos of his being under-read and overlooked, L.P. Hartley doesn’t exist on this device.


6 Responses

  1. Thank you for bringing this to our attention. I love it!

  2. Reblogged this on BOOKING IT and commented:
    Cool New Book Toy!
    Thanks to “A Guy’s Moleskine Notebook,” I discovered this website. You can type in an author you enjoy, and it will pull up a constellation of other authors that you are likely to enjoy as well. Love it. Thanks “Guy”!

  3. P.S. I also love Bulkagov. Not too long ago, there was a TV show (on PBS?) based on his experiences as a doctor in some remote Russian village. it was kind of dark, kind of funny, kind of surreal. You might want to check out the book. I forget the title, but it is something obvious, like “A Doctor’s Journal.”

  4. What a great device! Thanks the developer and thank you so much for introducing it to your readers!

    I tried typing in ‘Lu Xun’ and the result was quite surprising. Only two Chinese are interrelated to Lu. One is the famous female writer Eileen Chang, while the other called Wang Xiaobao is unfamiliar to me. I feel ashamed of not knowing any of the remaining. Haha …

    Love it, Matthew!

  5. I’ve been semi-obsessed with Literature Map for several years. It’s so simple, yet I think it’s one of the most useful and elegant author-discovery tools on the net. I’m glad you enjoyed it!

  6. How have I never known about this amazing site? Thanks so much for blogging about it! I see myself falling into a “Literature-Map” black hole quite soon.

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