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Gnooks - Welcome to the World of Literature

This is one of the coolest things I've ever seen. Use the "Map of Literature" Feature--type in a fairly prominent person's name and you get a really cool map of what people who read that author are likely to read. It was spot on for both Helen MacInnes and Mary Stewart and most interesting in the admittedly distant association of Flannery O'Connor with both Philip Roth and Jim Thompson. However the proximity of C.S. Lewis to both Frank Peretti and Sun Tzu is frightening. But, given that I have read all three, at least anecdoatally verifiable. And the proximity of Charles Williams to Joe Lansdale is both interesting and highly disturbing.


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Wow, that is fascinating. And the conjuction of names is really accurate, at least for overlapping authors that I've read.

I should have known you'd be a MacInnes fan also! Once again, we are the few, the proud, the readers of authors everyone else has forgotten!


They don't have an entry for G.K. Chesterton yet, but I'm sure that's coming soon.

After I got over my initial disappointment, I tried my favourite YA author, Madeleine L'Engle. The first name I read on the resulting map was Andrew M. Greeley, which made me feel like my bookcases had been laid bare for the world to see. (Yet this was not as bad as seeing Dan Brown on Fr. Greeley's map!)

It was even more surprising to see that on J.R.R. Tolkien's map, Stephen King is much, much closer to him than C.S. Lewis is. Heck, Neal Stephenson is closer than Lewis!

Uncle Gilbert may not be on the database yet, but Pope John Paul II is. Have you seen his map? Check out which Romantic poet and which contemporary author are on it! Surprising indeed!

Thanks for linking this, Steven.

Dear Enbrethiliel,

I had noted the absence of both Chesteron and Belloc.

I hadn't looked closely at J.R.R. Tolkien, although I did look. I hadn't noted the proximities you have listed here, but they aren't surprising. Tolkien reading is very often among people who have little notion of Christianity. If my early youth were indicative Tolkien would have been lumped in with Bram Stoker and H.P. Lovecraft as favorites C.S. Lewis came as an afterthought much, much later. We are so accustomed to thinking of them together that we're surprised to see them at a distance, but I suspect that the interesection of Tolkien and youth is probably responsible for the proximities. I shall, soonest, go and look at JPtG. Thank you.



Dear Enbrethiliel,

Look at Gilbert Keith Chesterton. I'm afraid you'll find the associations rather odd. Ramsey Campbell (horror writer of the Lovecraftian School); H. P. Lovecraft; Grant Allen and Lord Dunsany, who at least make a sort of sense chronologically; and E.A. Poe. Now, as a subset of what I read, there isn't an author listed that I do not read; however, is this representative? I don't know. I haven't found upon what data these maps are based. I think that would be interesting and provocative. But I am surprised at how accurate some of them are.

Also, it's extremely sensitive as to spellings caps, etc. So you might try other configurations.

For example G.K. Chesterton yields a wide array of authors some of home I doubt the affinities of (Steve Pinker, Nelson Algren, and Ross MacDonald come to mind). However we See C.S. Lewis, Dorothy Sayers, Rudyard Kipling, Jasper Fforde, Evelyn Waugh, and Winston Churchill, all of whom seem likely in both chronological and writing schools.




Thanks, Steven.

I also tried "G. K. Chesterton" (with a space in between the first two initials) and that one was already on the database. The only writer anywhere near him whom I also like is George Macdonald. The others I haven't even heard of! (That also goes for the names which appear if you enter "Gilbert Keith Chesterton." Now I'm a bit lost.)



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This page contains a single entry by Steven Riddle published on June 1, 2006 9:50 AM.

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