Fractal Structures in classic Literature

james-joyce-finnegans-wake-fractalPolnische Nuklearphysiker haben fraktale Strukturen in statistischen Auswertungen klassischer Literatur gefunden: Scientists find evidence of mathematical structures in classic books.

The academics put more than 100 works of world literature, by authors from Charles Dickens to Shakespeare, Alexandre Dumas, Thomas Mann, Umberto Eco and Samuel Beckett, through a detailed statistical analysis. Looking at sentence lengths and how they varied, they found that in an “overwhelming majority” of the studied texts, the correlations in variations of sentence length were governed by the dynamics of a cascade – meaning that their construction is a fractal: a mathematical object in which each fragment, when expanded, has a structure resembling the whole. […]
Some works, however, were more mathematically complex than others, with stream-of-consciousness narratives the most complex, comparable to multifractals, or fractals of fractals. Finnegans Wake, the scientists found, was the most complex of all.

Und aus den Comments auf Metafilter: „David Foster Wallace […] explained that he modeled Infinite Jest after a Sierpinski Gasket, a type of fractal in which a triangle is infinitely subdivided into smaller triangles using the midpoint of its borders.“