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.