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No One Writes to the Colonel

  by Gabriel García Márquez

(about 72 pages)
total words
of all the books in our library
of all the books in our library
passive voice
of all the books in our library
all adverbs
of all the books in our library
of all the books in our library
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:

Agustín’s year isn’t up yet.’ Someone guffawed. ‘It’s a clock.’ Hernán came out with the package. ‘It wasn’t anything,’ he said. ‘If you like I’ll go home with you to level it.’ The colonel refused his offer. ‘How much do I owe you?’ ‘Don’t worry about it, colonel,’ replied Hernán, taking his place in the group. ‘In January, the rooster will pay for it.’ The colonel now found the chance he was looking for. ‘I’ll make you a deal,’ he said. ‘What?’ ‘I’ll give you the rooster.’ He examined the circle of faces. ‘I’ll give the rooster to all of you.’ Hernán looked at him in confusion. ‘I’m too old now for that,’ the colonel continued. He gave his voice a convincing severity. ‘It’s too much responsibility for me. For days now I’ve had the impression that the animal is dying.’ ‘Don’t worry about it, colonel,’ Alfonso said. ‘The trouble is that the rooster is molting now. He’s got a fever in his quills.’ ‘He’ll be better next month,’ Hernán said. ‘I don’t want him anyway,’ the colonel said. Hernán’s pupils bore into his. ‘Realize how things are, colonel,’ he insisted. ‘The main thing is for you to be the one who puts Agustín’s rooster into the ring.’ The colonel thought about it. ‘I realize,’ he said. ‘That’s why I’ve kept him until now.’ He clenched his teeth, and felt he could go on: ‘The trouble is there are still two months.’ Hernán was the one who understood. ‘If it’s umbrella. Now Agustín was dead, and the bright satin material had been eaten away by the moths. ‘Look what’s left of our circus clown’s umbrella,’ said the colonel with one of his old phrases. Above his head a mysterious system of little metal rods opened. ‘The only thing it’s good for now is to count the stars.’ He smiled. But the woman didn’t take the trouble to look at the umbrella. ‘Everything’s that way,’ she whispered. ‘We’re rotting alive.’ And she closed her eyes so she could concentrate on the dead man. After shaving himself by touch – since he’d lacked a mirror for a long time – the colonel dressed silently. His trousers, almost as tight on his legs as long underwear, closed at the ankles with slip-knotted drawstrings, were held up at the waist by two straps of the same material which passed through two gilt buckles sewn on at kidney height. He didn’t use a belt. His shirt, the color of old Manila paper, and as stiff, fastened with a copper stud which served at the same time to hold the detachable collar. But the detachable collar was torn, so the colonel gave up on the idea of a tie. He did each thing as if it were a transcendent act. The bones in his hands were covered by taut, translucent skin, with light spots like the skin on his neck. Before he put on his patent-leather shoes, he scraped the dried mud from the stitching. His wife saw

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 362.10 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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