Every Word Counts

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Great writers, along with everything else they are doing, stage a readerly experience and lead their readers through it from first word on first page to last. Mapping out what those paths might look like is as worthy a critical approach as any.

At the Paris Review blog, Damion Searls takes a new approach to defending Syuzhet, Matthew Jockers’s controversial computer program that graphs the shape of a book based on the sentimentality of its words.


Claire Burgess’s short fiction has appeared in Third Coast, Hunger Mountain, and PANK online, among others. Her stories have received special mentions in the Pushcart Prize and Best American anthologies, but haven’t actually made it into one yet. She’s a graduate of the Vanderbilt University MFA program, where she co-founded Nashville Review. She lives in Pittsburgh by way of the deep South and says things on Twitter @Clairabou_. More from this author →