Can literature be investigated through quantitative methods? Can such fundamental concepts of literary studies as authorship, style, empathy, prestige, and emotion be measured? This study attempts to respond to these questions by providing results from a selection of case studies taken from German literature of the 19th through the 21st century, including Goethe’s “late style”; Felix Salten; unresolved cases of authorship attributed to Robert Musil; and the output of contemporary writers such as Florian Meimberg’s “twitterature” and Daniel Glattauer’s e-mail novel. In so doing, this book offers a glimpse into “operationalization,” a process through which the theoretical language and concepts of literary studies are translated into empirically observable properties. Though such a process remains uncommon in traditional literary studies, it is increasingly central to interdisciplinary fields such as the Digital Humanities and Empirical Aesthetics. Altogether, this study shows how the interplay among literary theory, stylometry, stylistics, empirical studies, and archival research can offer new answers to old questions regarding German literature and even provide tools to formulate new questions and novel approaches to research.
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