Literature-Map

I think I may have known about this site before, but I just re-discovered it yesterday, and I’ve been having a little fun exploring it.

Literature Map is a site that lets you discover writers that you might find to be similar to writers you like (or dislike). Simply type in the name of the author who interests you, and the site will build a sort of map of similar writers. The closer a given writer’s name is to your chosen name in the center, the more similar the writing supposedly is. So if you like, say, Alvaro Mutis, you could enter that name and learn that Timothy Mo and Mike Haddon are found to be similar writers, at least by this system.

I can’t say that I understand how the mechanism works, but it supposedly uses a form of artificial intelligence (I’m already lost) that is constantly updated and refined. I suppose this is the reason that some of the mapped writers don’t seem to want to settle; occasionally one will get up and move closer to or farther from the name chosen. (I’m not sure what that means about the relationship.)

The system isn’t perfect. I entered the name of a writer who makes frequent comments here, and his name was not yet found by the mechanism. In time, I’m sure, he’ll make his appearance.

Literature Map is part of a larger site that does similar things for movies and music, and there is also a community set up that allows people to join and then enter into online discussions.

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