The digital humanities take literary studies from the fertile age of speculative thought and model building to a time of instrumental reason and robust empiricism. At the same time, academic interest in material contexts of all kind has grown: in labs and maker spaces, in book history, in sociology of literature, in physical computing, in problems of regional inequities of access to information, in the future of books, presses, and libraries, in free culture, in the praxes of remix and remediation, and in the actual labor conditions at the base of our academic practice. The way of comparative literature has always been to advance through axes of contrast and correlation, by period and geography. The digital humanities offer yet another axis that bisects familiar concepts along a methodological divide. At its worst, the methodology devolves into shallow futurism and blunt instrumental reasoning. At its best, DH is a force of iconoclasm, used to question and to refine prevailing orthodoxies.