Tag Archives: Data visualization

“Pale Fire” the Poem, Day-By-Day

In this data visualization, I have constructed a table showing the date of composition for each line of the poem, “Pale Fire.” I am speaking here of Nabokov’s composition of the poem, not John Shade’s. I had to make things very small in order to allow the viewer to take the whole thing in at a glance, but that seemed the most helpful way to view it. If you are interested in knowing the exact lines and dates, go to the link below the picture. Drag a box around any of the segments and a menu box should appear that shows the underlying data. I am interested in creating some sort of animation that would show all the pieces falling into place, but I do not yet have the skill to manage that. If anyone has any suggestions, I would be happy to hear them.

PF Poem Day By Day

 

“Pale Fire” the Poem, Day-By-Day

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Pale Fire Month-By-Month

One of my ongoing projects involves an analysis of the composition and revision of Pale Fire. The holograph (handwritten) manuscript of PF resides in the Library of Congress and is now accessible to scholars on microfilm via interlibrary loan. I was lucky enough to visit the LOC back before the manuscript was photographed, and I have to say that while the increased access afforded by microfilm is wonderful, the quality of the images (especially to one trying to decipher cancellations and scrawled variants) does not approach the originals. The few photocopies that I was able to make of the original cards are much clearer than the .pdf downloads I obtained from the machines at the LOC. All that aside, I have been interested in developing a series of strictly data-based visualizations that would show Nabokov’s pace and method of composition. I have a ways to go in terms of my knowledge of data visualization, but I did find a handy, free program called Tableau that allowed me to create the bar graph below. The graph is organized by month and shows the volume of dated notecards VN produced during the composition of the novel. I should note that only about half of the cards in the manuscript are dated, so this chart does not present a complete view of novel’s composition.  Below the chart is a link to a more dynamic version of the data, which allows you to click on the bars and see the underlying data from the original Excel sheet.

Pale Fire by Month

http://public.tableausoftware.com/views/PaleFireCompositionbyMonth/Sheet1?:embed=y&:display_count=no

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