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The Secret History

  by Donna Tartt


(about 809 pages)
202,154
total words
of all the books in our library
50.20%
vividness
of all the books in our library
7.98%
passive voice
of all the books in our library
3.41%
all adverbs
of all the books in our library
1.40%
ly-adverbs
of all the books in our library
2.00%
non-ly-adverbs
of all the books in our library

clippings from this book

We’ve analyzed hundreds of millions of words, from thousands of different authors, training our linguistic models to recognize the most vivid words in the English language… the words that create the most intense sensory experiences: colors, textures, sounds, flavors, and aromas.

Based on our analysis, we’ve scanned through the pages of this book to find the two pages at the extremes, both the most-passive and the most-vivid pages, so that you can compare them side-by-side and see the difference:

MOST PASSIVE PAGE
MOST VIVID PAGE
night.’ This was interesting. ‘Did he stay with you?’ I said. ‘Yes, but only a few days. He’d been ill himself, you know. In Italy.’ ‘What was the matter?’ ‘Henry’s not as strong as he looks. His eyes bother him, he , has terrible headaches, sometimes he has a difficult time… I « didn’t think he was in a proper condition to travel, but it was lucky he didn’t stay on or he wouldn’t have found you. Tell me. How did you end up in such a dreadful place? Wouldn’t your parents give you money, or didn’t you want to ask?’ ‘I didn’t want to ask.’ ‘Then you are more of a stoic than I am,’ he said, laughing. ‘But your parents do not seem very fond of you, am I correct?’ ‘They’re not that crazy about me, no.’ ‘Why is that, do you suppose? Or is it rude of me to ask? I should think that they would be quite proud, yet you seem more an orphan than our real orphans do. Tell me,’ he said, looking up, ‘why is it that the twins haven’t been in to see me?’ ‘I haven’t seen them, either.’ ‘Where can they be? I haven’t even seen Henry. Only you and Edmund. Francis telephoned but I only spoke to him for a moment. He was in a hurry, he said he would stop by later, but he hasn’t… I don’t think Edmund’s learned a word of Italian, do you?’ ‘I don’t speak Italian.’ ‘Nor do a small living room with slanted walls and dormer windows. The armchairs and the lumpy sofa were upholstered in dusty brocades, threadbare at the arms: rose patterns on tan, acorns and oak leaves on mossy green. Everywhere were tattered doilies, dark with age. On the mantel of the fireplace (which I later discovered was inoperable) glittered a pair of lead-glass candelabra and a few pieces of tarnished silver plate. Though not untidy, exactly, it verged on being so. Books were stacked on every available surface; the tables were cluttered with papers, ashtrays, bottles of whiskey, boxes of chocolates; umbrellas and galoshes made passage difficult in the narrow hall. In Charles’s room clothes were scattered on the rug and a rich confusion of ties hung from the door of the wardrobe; Camilla’s night table was littered with empty teacups, leaky pens, dead marigolds in a water glass, and on the foot of her bed was laid a half-played game of solitaire. The layout of the place was peculiar, with unexpected windows and halls that led nowhere and low doors I had to duck to get through, and everywhere I looked was some fresh oddity: an old stereopticon (the palmy avenues of a ghostly Nice, receding in the sepia distance); arrowheads in a dusty glass case; a staghorn fern; a bird’s skeleton. Charles went into the kitchen and began to open and shut cabinets Camilla made me a drink from a bottle of Irish whiskey which stood on top of a pile

emotional story arc

Click anywhere on the chart to see the most significant emotional words — both positive & negative — from the corresponding section of the text…
This chart visualizes the the shifting emotional balance for the arc of this story, based on the emotional strength of the words in the prose, using techniques pioneered by the UVM Computational Story Lab. To create this story arc, we divided the complete manuscript text into 50 equal-sized chunks, each with 4043.08 words, and then we scored each section by counting the number of strongly-emotional words, both positive and negative. The bars in the chart move downward whenever there’s conflict and sadness, and they move upward when conflicts are resolved, or when the characters are happy and content. The size of each bar represents the positive or negative word-count of that section.

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