The Uses of Pudding

From the always innovative Richard Nash, formerly of Soft Skull Press and Red Lemonade, comes an interesting new project called Small Demons. Media bistro covers it here, and Quill and Quire here.  I’m not 100 percent sure that I grasp its  implications, but Small Demons catalogs and compiles details within books, so presumably I could find what fictional characters also listen to Bach’s double concerto or the Stone Roses, both particular favorites of mine, or reproduce a cocktail menu from Brideshead Revisited for an equally fictional party I might throw. The computer can find links across books—resonances, repetitions, relationships–but maybe I’m being too literal and utilitarian when I claim I don’t yet see what it’s for.  What do you think?

Actually, scratch that. I can spy a use for Small Demons, and the site may prove a blessing or curse to lit graduate students, and many a dissertation has been based around this sort of quirky detective work. So whether The Use of Pudding in the Victorian Novel will remain an appropriate field for academic inquiry now that a website can investigate it in seconds is anybody’s guess. However, I’m planning to try it out, and you can too can give it a whirl in its beta site here.

14 Responses to The Uses of Pudding

  1. I foresee this becoming addicting in the same manner as TV Tropes.

    Obviously I have not dug in deep yet, but I wonder if this might be useful for authors trying to find comp titles for their own work that they might not have been aware of, or even trying to determine whether their crazy unique idea has been done before. Of course there are other ways to research this, but it’s happened to me before that I’ve by chance discovered a title too similar to what I was planning to write after I exhausted my normal avenues and started the project. Another resource for this kind of research would be great!

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