Chess As A Novel And Vice Versa

D. Graham Burnett and W. J. Walter at Cabinet:

Stimulated by Levi’s juxtaposition, and motivated by the possibilities of extending an Oulipian sensibility into the sphere of literary criticism (OuCriPo?), the authors set out to develop a means by which a given novel could express itself as a game of chess. Initial success here led to expanded ambition, since there was nothing to stop us from elaborating our modest analytic protocol into a full-fledged “engine” that would permit works of literature to confront one another on the chess board. We have advanced this project to what we think of as a workable tool for a certain sort of ludic literary investigation, and we present it here for the first time, together with some preliminary results drawn from several thousand games we have run to date. The current version of the program is playable on the Cabinet website [see end of article—Eds.], and we would be delighted if it proved useful to those wishing to pursue this or related lines of inquiry.

more here.