Love Unknown

Stream of consciousness tales of unrequited love algorithmically composed from Craigslist Missed Connections. Each volume takes place in a unique U.S. city.

The Love Unknown collection invites the reader to consider these questions and compare the pick-up rituals of locals across the United States. Are encounters at Wal-Mart more exciting when they happen in Tulsa compared to Toledo? Can an interaction at a Garden Ridge in Dallas compare to crossing paths in Central Park in New York? Is meeting someone at the gym awkward no matter where you live?

In addition to 5 print versions, other cities are available on Amazon Kindle:

The following schematic outlines how the books were composed.

After scraping Missed Connections from a particular city, the posts were separated into sentences. From there, each sentence was distinguished between describing an appearance, an interaction, a regret, or a greeting. The algorithm that recombined the sentences used a pattern that would combine 3-4 of each type into one paragraph or phrase. In addition, all of the listings were converted from second person to first person female narrator.

The books are not intended to be traditional narratives, but instead offer an impressionistic texture of the dialects and social exchanges in various cities. The following Amazon review captures this best:

The script for the books was written in Python with assistance from Roopa Vasudevan and Zannah Marsh.

The source code can be viewed here.

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