After our class discussion last Thursday, I went back to find this piece on Moretti by Elif Batuman (who overlapped with Moretti at Stanford) and thought to post it. I found the discussion of Moretti in context of Russian Formalism particularly interesting.
“THE DARWINIAN THREAD is taken up in the third chapter, which opens with an evolutionary mystery: how can we understand the survival of Sherlock Holmes, as opposed to the failure of the other fictional detectives of his time? Again, a triangle: instead of Conan Doyle and his readers—Conan Doyle, his rivals, and his readers. In search of answers, Moretti and his team of graduate students dove into the archive of Victorian detective fiction and resurfaced with 108 long-forgotten rival texts—which, after appropriate analysis, yielded the secret of their own extinction: their authors didn’t know how to use clues.”