Introduction

The Not-So-Pathetic Fallacy is a browser-based web app that explores sentimental nature in literary texts. Visitors to this site can upload a text of their choosing, and a custom Python script will analyze the text and identify any instances of naturally motivated sentiment that occur within it. Once the program has analyzed the whole file, it does two things. Firstly, it creates a list of sentences that triangulate emotional, natural, and human moments. These sentences are then organized into more specific categories, stored as lists, and arranged into an index page.

Secondly, the program pairs each sentence listed in the index with an animated illustration that emphasizes the interplay between human sentiment and natural environment that the sentence expresses. By juxtaposing features of the natural landscape with human emotion, the visualizations are a playful reminder that our inner lives and outer surroundings are fundamentally connected. The illustrations are composites of landscape paintings by John Ruskin, the nineteenth-century art historian who in Modern Painters Vol III (1856) coined the term "pathetic fallacy," and illustrations by Jean Audran, after Charles Le Brun, artists whose work remains fundamental to the science of human physiognomy.

For further information, contact Lisa Swanstrom at swanstro at gmail dot com

Sample search box (for illustrative purposes only) The full functionality of the tool will be available to the public in the spring of 2021.
Sample index page Sample details page