Abstract

This article blends the frameworks of ecocriticism and digital humanities. It explores quantitative methods for analysing literary representations of the wolf in Portuguese literature on a temporal and spatial basis, from an enlarged literary corpus. A grid analysis covers the entire sample's content and encompasses the various forms that relationships between humans and nature can take. Quantitative analysis reveals that wolves have been common narrative elements since the late nineteenth century. However, the proportion of wolf literary representations was not independent of time period of publication: a strong decline occurred in the works published after 1980. We also found that most of the contemporary writers that mention wolves place the narrative in a previous time. Wolf literary representations maintained their basic pattern in structure across time. They combined a variety of topics, approaches and perspectives, although they tended to be less rich and less diverse in terms of their composition. Although the Portuguese literary wolf is a widespread creature, it is not homogeneously distributed in the territory and its geographic distribution throughout time shows a notorious reduction trend that matches the evolution of the species' natural range and demography.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)388-404
Number of pages17
JournalDigital Scholarship in the Humanities
Volume30
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sep 2015

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