Faulkner 83 (2014)
12.5" x 12.5" x 5.25"
A 3-D printout of all of William Faulkner’s online works uses pie chart segmentation to illustrate that 83% of the Dictionary of American Regional English headwords that he incorporated were labeled as Southern (see some examples here). A portrait of the iconic Southern author is superimposed on the book.
Carrie: A portrait, a book of Faulkner's works, a pie chart, and the process—a testament to the necessity of humans as editors. Special thanks to Markus Broecker for the math and programming magic that made the image possible in this piece.
Julie: Though this piece is a tangible result of a method to determine the “Southernness” of Faulkner’s texts, it also speaks volumes about the artifice of attempting to do so. We can safely say that 83% of all DARE headwords Faulkner used are attributed to Southern regions, but limitations of the method prevented us from drawing further conclusions. Spelling and pronunciation variants of standard words, plurals, past-tense forms, and the like that are included within a DARE entry—but are not an exact match with the headword—are missing from the search results. We also can't confirm that all 83% of the hits are for the intended Southern sense of the word without using contextual clues and referring to DARE entries. Therefore, using DARE for text analyses requires careful thought and a working understanding of how DARE entries are structured. We can also safely say that analyzing a text requires much more than just counting words!