Revisiting Pontoppidan: Sentiment analysis and topic modelling on ‘Eagle's Flight’

Evgenios Vlachos*, Kamilla Jensen Husen

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

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Our aim is to examine the evolution of Henrik Pontoppidan's authorship by comparing the five different editions that exist of his short story ‘Eagle's Flight’ (‘Ørneflugt’), as well as enriching the understanding of the story. We attempt to validate the existing views of ‘Eagle's Flight’ based on classic literary analysis (qualitative part) by approaching them from a different perspective, that of digital text analysis (quantitative part). The digital analysis focuses on sentiment analysis and topic modelling as ways of discovering differences in the same story across different versions. We have chosen this story as it is relatively easy and quite fast to read, allowing the reader to validate (or not) the output of the machine learning algorithms on their own. We test whether these techniques can be applied in a Danish literature context, and how they further contribute to the analysis and understanding of the literature. Our findings suggest that the methods complement each other and point in the same direction, that Pontoppidan has changed his way of writing during the time of the authorship from a Romantic towards a more Pragmatic style. Our approach can be applied to the works of any author.
Original languageEnglish
JournalOrbis Litterarum
Issue number5
Pages (from-to)441-463
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2023


  • Danish literature
  • Henrik Pontoppidan
  • Scandinavian studies
  • digital literary studies
  • sentiment analysis
  • topic modelling


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