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Home :: Archive :: 2003 :: June ::
Re: A Lover's Complaint
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 14.1207  Thursday, 19 June 2003

[1]     From:   Bob Grumman <
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        Date:   Monday, 16 Jun 2003 09:53:52 -0400
        Subj:   Re: SHK 14.1195 Re: A Lover's Complaint

[2]     From:   Sean Lawrence <
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        Date:   Monday, 16 Jun 2003 16:06:41 -0300
        Subj:   Re: SHK 14.1195 Re: A Lover's Complaint


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Bob Grumman <
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Date:           Monday, 16 Jun 2003 09:53:52 -0400
Subject: 14.1195 Re: A Lover's Complaint
Comment:        Re: SHK 14.1195 Re: A Lover's Complaint

To Bill Arnold, with whose Cummings-backed defense of big letters I
agree, I must point out that Cummings's name was not, in the view of
Cummings authorities like Norman Friedman, lower-case.

For the Fowler brothers who said that italics "are a confession of
weakness," a question: what about composers who use accent marks in
music?  I myself use every verbal tool in the book I know of including,
FOR SURE, italics.  Then, I invent more.

Finally, a comment to Jonathan Hope, who said, "The question of an
author deliberately shifting their style to mimic that of another, or to
match that of a new genre, is an important one."

I'm not sure what deliberateness would have to do with it.

"The possibility of this happening is often cited by those hostile to
statistical approaches to literature as evidence that such approaches
are pointless."

"Pointless?"  Who said that?  My impression is that opponents of
statistical approaches use this argument to suggest that those
approaches have weaknesses, not that they are pointless.

"Strangely," Hope continued, "or perhaps not, I've never seen any of
these hostile critics cite an example of an author altering their style
to produce a shift that changes the statistics."

Not strange at all.  It's common sense that the above MUST happen, but
like many common sense things, it would require a lot of work to find
supporting examples--and apply all the required statistical tests, etc.,
to them.  But if anyone can get me a grant that'll pay salaries for a
couple of stats&computer-savvy assistants, and a sophisticated new
computer, I'll see what I can do.

I'm really eager to find out the outcome of treating Shakespeare's
Holinshed plays as possible collaborations, and trying statistically to
match them to his non-Holinshed plays.

--Bob G.

[2]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Sean Lawrence <
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Date:           Monday, 16 Jun 2003 16:06:41 -0300
Subject: 14.1195 Re: A Lover's Complaint
Comment:        Re: SHK 14.1195 Re: A Lover's Complaint

Bill Arnold writes,

>So, if italics are
>a confession of weakness, is not using italics a sign of strength?

Yes.

>We are talking style, my friend, and style is as style is.  How do you like
>you e.e.cummings, with capitalizations, as in E. E. Cummings or not?

Since he's a poet, I'd read it however he writes it, if I read it at
all.  On the other hand, we probably wouldn't want to belong to a list
where everybody wrote like e.e.cummings, all the time.  I doubt that
many of us would accept an essay that looked like an e.e.cummings poem.
In fact, if someone insisted on talking in the way in which e.e.cummings
wrote, I'd think he was being rather self-indulgent, a bit of a
show-off, not in the least bit interested in whether anyone could
understand him or not as long as he got to feel clever.

>Anyway, ole e.e. was on his way to UMass-Amherst Radio, when he got a
>letter from the college dude who was in charge, and this smart-aleck
>wrote e.e. that the board, whoever they were, had decided that some of
>the poems he had chosen to read were unacceptable and they were
>requesting that e.e. edit or censor his own poems in order for the
>invitation to still be on.  So, e.e. sent a letter, which I saw a copy
>of back in the 1960s when my professor showed it to me.  Ole e.e. wrote
>a regular form letter, with proper HEAD and SIGNATURE, and all the
>formal format, and in the very middle of the page he put, simply:
>
>                            "NO"

Since this was clearly a conscious attempt to be rude, you've made my
point about the rudeness of capitalization very well.

Cheers,
Sean.

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