Literary Constellations: Astronomy-Inspired Visualizations of the Opening Sentences of Beloved Books

From Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland to The Time Machine, data art meets literature.

“If one did it deftly, one could in a one-paragraph opening grab the reader,” David Foster Wallace offered in his advice on how to write a great opener. There is, of course, no formula for the writing of a great opening sentence, just like there isn’t one for writing a great book — or rather, as John Steinbeck put it, “the formula seems to lie solely in the aching urge of the writer to convey...

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