Wounded and Battle

The two words that I picked to look at were wounded and battle. I wanted to pick words that would reflect his feelings during battle and would show if the way that he talked about the battles changed overtime. Instead of picking random words, i wanted to find words that had some sort of connection, and i found that wounded and battle seemed like they could possibly have some beneficial links. When i continued to look closer, it was obvious that a link was present.

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The graph above shows the number of appearances of both of my words in the progression of his writings. The second half of his writings had dramatically more appearances of both of the words. Actually, wounded does not show up once in the entire first half of the writing, but shows up thirty four times in the second half. Battle is also used drastically more often in the second half than in the first. For me the connections between the appearance of these words could show a change in Linn. Both of the words that i picked are connected to pain, war, and conflict so i would assume they would led to a change in the way that Linn sees that. His time spent in the war made him hard, resulting in the loss of innocence which in turn led to the change in the way that he writes and what he chooses to write about.

I also found it interesting to look at the words that were connected to battle and wounded in the Links tool. They were both connected to the word company, which comments that he was often talking about his solider companions when discussing battles and the wounded. The words left, exhausted, and killed were also all in this cluster. These words all have some connotations that could play a part in Linn’s transformation. Although i would say a deeper look might be required to make a strong conclusion about his change, my dive into these two words seemed to fit that conclusion.

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Links: Connections between my words

Linn’s Diary


Linn’s Diary page 33

This is the first time I transcribe any documents. It is a good experience to see how difficult it is for people to transcribe and study old documents. Transcription is the way to efficiently study a person’s life. While transcribing a person’s work, especially diaries and unpublished works, we can dive into his/her stream of thoughts and understand them at a deeper level. All the informations written are this person’s thoughts and observations. It is interesting to see what is happening in their lives and how they choose to write down informations that seem crucial to them.

The process was very simple. I opened a page of the diary on one side and use TextEdit on one side. For every word that I can’t read, I put a question mark, [?]. In the beginning, most of the texts were question marks. As I read more and more of his hand writing, I started to recognize the letters and eventually the actual words.

Overall, transcribing Linn’s diary can be fun but frustrating at the same time. Many words have became obsolete and unable to read.

There are names on the page that is hard to read without any previous knowledge. Below is an example of such. This is the name of an artist of the London Illustrated News. I can make out that his name is Frank but I couldn’t read his last name.

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Frank [something]

There are days in the diary that are just extremely hard to read. We can tell that Linn was having a bad day when his writings are all over the place. In this part, he was talking about the harsh conditions of the troops. He mentioned people getting sick so perhaps Linn was also sick.

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Example of Linn’s absurd handwriting

Although his handwriting is hard to read, this is a lot easier to read compares to the documents I have seen from Bentham Project. Overall, this has been a fun experience to transcribe his diary. There are a lot to be learned from this. The everyday life of a civil war soldier is harsh. Living in terrible conditions in the midst of a war is not something we can fathom.

Week Three Assignments, Readings, Exercises

Monday 9/15

  • Share out transcriptions – group help session
  • Transcriptions due via email (11pm)
  • Reflections due via website (11pm)

Tuesday 9/18

Full diary (rough) transcription file distributed to class (via email)

Wednesday 9/17

  • Reading: Whitley article
  • Lecture: Distant reading introduction (including Whitley)
  • Lab: Distant reading analytical/visualization tools
    • begin to form questions about diary text for distant reading blog post

Friday 9/19

  • Reading: Diary
  • Meeting with Nancy Frazier, research librarian