The Dostoyevskian Trope: State Incongruence in Danish Textual Cultural Heritage


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In the history of prolific authors, we are confronted with the figure of the suffering author. Setting aside metaphysical theories, the central claim seems to be that a state incongruent dynamic is an intricate part of the creativity process. Two propositions can be derived this claim, 1: the creative state is inversely proportional to the emotional state, and 2: the creative state is causally predicted by the emotional state. We call this creative-emotional dynamic “The Dostoyevskian Trope”. In this paper we present a method for studying the Dostoyevskian trope in prolific authors. The method combines Shannon entropy as an indicator of lexical variability with fractal analysis in order to measure creative dynamics over multiple documents. We generate a sentiment time series from the same documents and test for asymmetric directed dependencies between the creative and sentiment time series. We illustrate the method by searching for the Dostoyevskian trope in Danish textual cultural heritage, specifically three highly prolific authors from the 19th century, namely, N.F.S. Grundtvig, H.C. Andersen, and S.A. Kierkegaard.


Keywords— Creativity, Fractal Analysis, Information Theory, Sentiment Analysis