Abstract

This essay argues that the patterns of sameness and difference inherent in periodical form can be understood by analogy with the infinitely complex but self-similar forms of fractal geometry. More specifically, the notion of fractal (or fractional) dimension supplies not only a new conceptual vocabulary to describe the increased dimensionality of periodicals but also a quantitative measure of the complexity of form. Using digital tools and visualisations, dimension, together with the complementary notion of texture, can be set to work as the theoretical basis for new comparative analyses. At the same time, this approach raises important questions about the transferability of theoretical concepts from the sciences to the humanities.

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Additional Information

ISSN
1712-526X
Print ISSN
0709-4698
Pages
pp. 403-427
Launched on MUSE
2015-10-02
Open Access
No
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