If you’re a book lover, you’re going to want one of these posters.
Digital artist Nicholas Rougeux has been creating Literary Constellations that map out sentences from classic literature like patterns in the night sky. The project began when Rougeux was diagramming the first sentences of classic novels. He writes on his website, “I didn’t intend to create constellations. I just wanted an interesting visual way of looking at text but quickly found that what I was creating resembled constellation maps so I decided to explore that idea by creating one based on not just the opening lines of entire books but the opening lines of each chapter in books.”
Diagramming sentences can indeed create shapes that look like constellations, with lines drawn between specific parts of speech. Rougeux explains the method he used on his site:
“Constellations were created from words of first sentences of each chapter in classic short stories to draw a paths based on word length and part of speech. The directions of lines were based on part of speech (noun, verb, adjective, etc.) and length is based on the length of the word. Star sizes are also based on word length. Constellations were hand-arranged in a loose clockwise pattern starting at the top with a faint highlight connecting each in the order chapters appeared in the story representing the cloud of the galaxy usually shown in vintage star charts.”
Below is one representation Rougeux made of the first line of Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice:
From there, he mapped out the first line of each of Austen’s six published novels:
Several different prints are available for sale, including constellation maps for The Jungle Book:
You can see more of Nicholas’ beautiful work and order your own prints here.
YouTube Channel: Nicholas Rougeux
Featured image via Nicholas Rougeux, Literary Constellations