Malamud at Oregon State: A Digital Humanities Project

Bernard Malamud Letter Network

Philip Roth's Correspondence with Malamud

Geographic Map of Malamud's Letter Network

Flannery O'Connor's Correspondence with Malamud

Directed Graph of Malamud's Letter Network

Within this project you will find a collection of letters to and from Bernard Malamud. It is our hope that one day this project will encompass all of Malamud's correspondence. For now, we are limited in scope to the collections at the Library of Congress and the Harry Ransom Center at UT-Austin. However, we do not have all of Malamud's letters at UT-Austin. Most of what we currently have access to are letters between Malamud and his publishers, fans, and some public figures. Though Malamud wrote his brother Eugene more often than anyone else, none of their conversations appear in these collections because we were unable to obtain these letters from the UT-Austin Harry Ransom Center. In the network diagram, we illustrate this by including disconnected nodes for correspondents that we know Malamud interacted with, but that we were unsure of the frequency of letters exchanged. For this reason and others like it, our project does not claim to present a comprehensive picture for all of Malamud's correspondence. As Miriam Posner suggests, we must recognize "simultaneously the value of any particular dataset and its inevitable poverty, compared with the phenomena it purports to describe." 
We organize these letters using three different interfaces: a collection of the letters themselves and two "distant reading" visualizations with which users can interact, a geographic map and a directed network graph.
As a whole, we hope our project provides multiple perspectives for reading and analyzing Malamud's correspondence, giving users a better picture and understanding of Malamud's life, his publishing process, the fans and public figures who wrote him, and the letter writing practices common during Malamud's life. 

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