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The Age of Grief

  by Jane Smiley


(about 242 pages)
60,454
total words
of all the books in our library
52.25%
vividness
of all the books in our library
7.95%
passive voice
of all the books in our library
3.15%
all adverbs
of all the books in our library
0.91%
ly-adverbs
of all the books in our library
2.24%
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
him like a glaring light or a thundering noise, so enormous that he is nearly robbed of the power to speak. He pushes it out. “She can’t come now, ever. She probably won’t ever call or write me again. And really, this has saved her. She had all sorts of expectations that I couldn’t havewell, wouldn’t have fulfilled, and if she had come she would have been permanently compromised.” “Did you have some kind of affair when you were there?” “For a few months. She’s very pretty. I think she’s the prettiest woman I’ve ever seen. She teaches mathematics at the school where I was teaching. After I had been with Mieko for a few weeks, I realized that no one, maybe in her whole adult life, had asked her how she was, or had put his arm around her shoulders, or had taken care of her in any way. The slightest affection was like a drug she couldn’t get enough of.” “What did you feel?” “I liked her. I really did. I was happy to see her when she came by. But she longed for me more than I have ever longed for anything.” “You were glad to leave.” “I was glad to leave.” “So what’s the problem?” “When she called yesterday, she broke down completely. I listened. I thought it was the least I could do, but now I think that she is compromised. Japanese people are very private. It scares me how much I must have dab. Fragrant, smooth, rosy. Draped in fragrant (lavender), smooth (silk spun by the very worms themselves), and abundant tissues of robin’s egg and full-bodied burgundy. Woman standing in a draft in her tawny stockings regarding her erect nipples with her brown but really yellow eyes, her black hair shifted shinily forward in the light, her clean clean clean face, every pore purged. Let me tell you, J., that I, too, have fallen asleep in media seductione. But good heavens, he was not only a freshman given to wearing an orange and black stocking cap to bed on football weekends; he had three splinted fingers and was there on a wrestling scholarship. I removed your shoes. After finishing the dishes, dusting and wiping out the china cabinet, mopping the floors, washing the woodwork, replacing the light bulb in the front-hall closet and the one in the back pantry, Windexing the mirrors, sorting through all my makeup bottles and the medicine chest, and hemming up a new dress, I removed your jacket. Frankly, Jeffrey, the building of model ships for nautical museums and private collections is nothing so much as honorable. You fashion every mahogany plank and rosewood mast, you overcast raw edges of sails, you braid the lines and lanyards, you tie the microscopic knots. Remember the time I nosed around your mullion-windowed shop? “Of course I’ll tell you.” “Is it with long tweezers, the way they do radium?” The masts and sails nestled together on the deck like bat wings

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 1209.08 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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other books by Jane Smiley

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