(excerpt) In this week’s issue, the Book Review inaugurates a new column, The Mechanic Muse, that will examine different aspects of this techno-literary complex. This week, Kathryn Schulz takes a virtual trip to the Stanford Literary Lab, where literary scholars are mutating into computer scientists, and vice versa. Can a computer recognize a literary genre or help us see the plot of “Hamlet” anew? Should it? Read the column to decide for yourself.