Tuesday, February 14, 2012

"Boldness be my friend!"-HE ANSWERED ME!


I would have written this post much sooner but alas my internet was down and I'm STILL feel pretty crummy...


I'm finally writing this post finally to tell you my amazingly awesome news! I received replies from TWO of my contacts! One of which was.....STANLEY FISH!

I know I squealed excitedly (much like a little girl) and couldn't function for ten whole minutes. All I could repeat was:

"I can't believe he replied! Oh my goodness. Oh my goodness..."

My husband stared at me for a few seconds to let me calm down and then asked what he had written.

"I haven't looked at it yet."

And I couldn't! I just couldn't look at it! I stared at my computer and my stomach just churned, my thoughts provoking all my insecurities.

'What is he thinks I'm an idiot' I kept musing. 'What if he writes a really mean reply?'

Or worse, as Dr. Burton suggested: 'What if it's only an automated response?'

Ah! Talk about a motivation to actually click on the e-mail and read it.

I confess it took A LONG time to work up the courage to click on the e-mail. A simple click and I couldn't do it for hours! Hours!

But, finally I did it. I clicked on the e-mail....

And, well, I'll let you read it.

"In genreal my view is that digital techniques can do some tasks of sorting and frequency either more quickly or on a vaster scale than can traditional interpretive methods . But what they can't do is provide or come up with the interpretive thesis without which text mining is just a form of play. If you had formulated a reading of Shakespeare and wanted to know whether certain formal patterns would lend it support , it might well be useful to run the numbers . I think Hope agrees with me. All my considered views on this matter are contained in the three NYTimes pieces--sf "

It wasn't so bad! He wasn't mean or critical or anything. Actually, he was very simple in his response. I appreciated his reference to his other articles on the subject. He answered the questions I proposed to him concerning his opinion about digital humanities and he took the time to clarify information for me. I suspected that perhaps he didn't like digital humanities AT ALL, but he surprised me. I guess I just didn't read his articles well enough, but it is nice to have him clarify things for me personally. He even mentioned another of my contacts, Dr. Hope and his views on the matter (I'll post that in the next blogging).

All things considered I'm pretty happy. It may be a short response but it really gives me a great understanding of what a major critic thinks about the digital humanities. I think that helps a bit!

Don't you?


  1. YAY! This is really exciting. I'm happy that he gave you a good response.

  2. That is so awesome Kaleigh!! I'm so excited for you. Stanley Fish, geez. That's great.

  3. "Stanley Fish, geez" is right!! Holy crow Kaleigh! I think I would have fainted on the spot! Hurray you for emailing him! I read those articles too; aren't they great?!

  4. Just posted about your experience at my blog because I thought it was THAT cool! http://zabriskiebri382.blogspot.com/2012/02/digital-close-reading.html

    Thanks for including your response from stanley Fish because it furthered my thoughts on my own project!