Literary GIS Narrative Networks: Mapping Larry McMurtry’s Lonesome Dove (1985), and Charles Bukowski and Walter Mosley’s Los Angeles.

Authors: Charles Travis*, University of Texas, Arlington
Topics: Cultural Geography, Temporal GIS, Coupled Human and Natural Systems
Keywords: GIS, literature, networks, chronotopes, distant reading, Larry McMurtry, Charles Bukowski, Walter Mosley, "American West" Los Angeles
Session Type: Paper
Day: 4/13/2018
Start / End Time: 1:20 PM / 3:00 PM
Room: Oakley, Sheraton, 4th Floor
Presentation File: No File Uploaded


This paper discusses the inauguration of a spatial humanities monograph project which will in part map the narrative lines and networks within the work of Texas author Larry McMurtry, in conjunction with the prose of Charles Bukowski, and the novels of African-American crime writer Walter Mosley, both of whom depict marginalized representations of Los Angeles. By employing GIS in tandem with approaches developed by literary scholars such as M.M. Bakhtin’s chronotopic theory and Franco Moretti’s distant reading approach, it is possible plot the intersections of narrative and temporal networks within the texts of McMurtry, Bukowski and Mosley, with the physical, cultural, rural and urban geographies and networks in which they are set, and in which they interact. Such approaches using mixed-methods GIS theory and techniques provides a means to link the spatial and temporal intersections of these writers and their works with other novels, scripts, films, pieces of visual art, and archival, cartographical and historical documents to more deeply contextualize developments in the “American West” from the late nineteenth century to the early twenty-first century.

Abstract Information

This abstract is already part of a session. View the session here.

To access contact information login