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Written in response to Carolyn Lesjak and Stefano Ercolino, this article reconstructs the author’s changing relationship to historical materialism.

In: Historical Materialism
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Abstract

“Yes, interesting,” said someone from the audience, the first time I presented on dramatic networks; “but, as a mathematician, I feel I only understand something if I know how to ‘make’ it. So: how do you make a dramatic network? What elements does it need, what rules, what stages?” At the time, I had no idea how to respond; in a discipline like ours, where the objects of study are emphatically given – passed on with care, and often with reverence, from generation to generation – the idea of “making” Hamlet sounded half absurd, half sacrilegious. But that’s exactly my object here: neither real plays, nor even the networks that can be extracted from them, but their “simulations” instead.

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In: Journal of World Literature