Exercises in Unstyling Texts: Formalisation and Visualisation of a Narrative’s [Space, Time, Actors, Motion] Components

  • Jean-Yves Blaise
  • Iwona DudekEmail author
Conference paper
Part of the Communications in Computer and Information Science book series (CCIS, volume 914)


The research presented in this paper basis on the premise that segmenting textual content into successive situations according to four components - space, time, actors and motion – can help depicting a storyline in a way that facilitates comparative analyses across texts, and ultimately fostering knowledge discovery. The paper presents the original aim of the project and sums up the knowledge modelling choices made in order to formalise the segmentation procedure through which sequences of situations are extracted. We then present several proof of concept visualisations that facilitate visual reasoning on the structure, rhythm, patterns and variations of heterogeneous texts, and summarise how the space, time, actors and motion components are organised inside a given narrative. The approach was tested across various types of text, in three languages, and the paper details some of the potential benefits of the resulting visualisations on the specific case of R. Queneau’s Exercises in style. The paper is concluded with a straight to the point analysis of the approach’s actual weaknesses and limitations.


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.UMR CNRS/MCC 3495 MAPMarseilleFrance

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