Make a Donation

Consider making a donation to support SHAKSPER.

Subscribe to Our Feeds

Current Postings RSS

Announcements RSS

Home :: Archive :: 2004 :: March ::
Stylometrics
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 15.0785  Tuesday, 30 March 2004

[1]     From:   Robin Hamilton <
 This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
 >
        Date:   Monday, 29 Mar 2004 17:14:04 +0100
        Subj:   Re: SHK 15.0775 Stylometrics

[2]     From:   Terence Hawkes <
 This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
 >
        Date:   Monday, 29 Mar 2004 11:59:25 -0500
        Subj:   SHK 15.0767 Stylometrics

[3]     From:   Gerald E. Downs <
 This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
 >
        Date:   Monday, 29 Mar 2004 18:57:06 EST
        Subj:   Re: SHK 15.0775 Stylometrics

[4]     From:   Mac Jackson <
 This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
 >
        Date:   Tuesday, 30 Mar 2004 12:21:07 +1200
        Subj:   RE: SHK 15.0775 Stylometrics


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Robin Hamilton <
 This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
 >
Date:           Monday, 29 Mar 2004 17:14:04 +0100
Subject: 15.0775 Stylometrics
Comment:        Re: SHK 15.0775 Stylometrics

Not really Shakespeare but related (Renaissance) ...

I could never really get excited by stylometric studies of Shakespeare
as this is essentially fiddling on the margin.

Conspiracy theories and Oxfordians aside, there are 36 plays we know
were written by Shakespeare, and maybe two or three that are doubtful,
so while interesting, it's no big deal.

There are, however, two English Renaissance writers where there *is* a
serious question around what they wrote.

Ralegh and Thomas Wyatt.

Leaving Ralegh aside, the Wyatt Canon can stretch from under 200 poems
to 350+.

I tried to constuct a Wyatt Canon based on MS title sequences --
Egerton, Devonshire, Blage, Tottel (K --not an MS) and Arundel.

The first problem I hit was that I seemed to be constructing the
tightest canon for Wyatt of anyone -- I'd dump even 15 poems that Tottel
ascribes to Wyatt.

In the back of my head was that eventually, anything I did in this area
really ought to be checked by a stylometric analysis.

But the trouble is that with Wyatt, you're dealing with short texts.

I tried a thought-experiment as to how you *might* be able to run a
stylometric analysis on a sonnet and to me it seemed to come down to a
three-orthographic-item sequence.

(I ran this past a couple of statisticians I knew and they essentially
said that, yes, it might be possible to construct a program to do this,
but that I was barking mad.)

So three points ...

(1)  stylometric analysis began pre-computers with an attempt to
identify the authorship of the Pauline Epistles, and it kicked-up some
(now taken-for-granted) pretty devastating results.

(2) Stylometrics seems to be currently bogged down in or obsessed by
Shakespeare, where it isn't a serious problem.

(3) How do you apply stylometrics to short texts?

I can identify the question but I don't know the answer.

Robin Hamilton

[2]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Terence Hawkes <
 This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
 >
Date:           Monday, 29 Mar 2004 11:59:25 -0500
Subject: Stylometrics
Comment:        SHK 15.0767 Stylometrics

The defining character of stylometrics lies in its leaden-footed
plodding after that modern chimera, authenticity. In the manufacture of
soul-gelding, buttock-clenching tedium, this is a pursuit that has few
equals. No wonder. To shackle texts grimly to specific authors, is to
deny that they have overriding and unassignable imperatives and styles
of their own.

T. Hawkes

[3]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Gerald E. Downs <
 This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
 >
Date:           Monday, 29 Mar 2004 18:57:06 EST
Subject: 15.0775 Stylometrics
Comment:        Re: SHK 15.0775 Stylometrics

To Ward Elliott:

I'm suspicious of 2 H4 as wholly Shakespeare's. What's your mechanical
opinion? Gerald E. Downs

[4]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Mac Jackson <
 This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
 >
Date:           Tuesday, 30 Mar 2004 12:21:07 +1200
Subject: 15.0775 Stylometrics
Comment:        RE: SHK 15.0775 Stylometrics

As Bill Godshalk says, I have argued that the case for Shakespeare's
having at least contributed to Arden of Faversham, a case accepted by
some good nineteenth-century commentators, deserves reconsideration:
that was in "Shakespearean Features of the Poetic Style of Arden of
Faversham", Archiv fur das Studium der neueren Sprachen and Literaturen,
230 (1993), 279-304.  The stylometric work done by Ward Elliott and
Robert Valenza suggests rather strongly that the play cannot be wholly
Shakespeare's. But collaboration between Shakespeare and another or
others is not ruled out by their tests.  Further, at least one of the
tests failed by Arden of Faversham depends on use of a text of that play
that has (at least in this one respect) been edited on principles quite
different from those on which the base Shakespeare texts have been
edited. Arden is said to have a rate of 28 hyphenated compounds per
20,000 words, which is much too low to fit within the Shakespeare base
range of 52-180. But if Martin Wine's Revels edition is taken as the
foundation text for Arden, the rate is 51 per 20,000 words, and the
Temple edition of Ronald Bayne (1897, reprinted 1955) would yield a rate
of 72 per 20,000 words. In Defining Shakespeare: "Pericles" as Test
Case, p.  76-9, I discuss the difficulty of ensuring that
non-Shakespearean texts are edited or "commonized" in precisely the same
ways as texts that have always been accepted as belonging to the canon.

Mac Jackson

_______________________________________________________________
S H A K S P E R: The Global Shakespeare Discussion List
Hardy M. Cook, 
 This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
 
The S H A K S P E R Web Site <http://www.shaksper.net>

DISCLAIMER: Although SHAKSPER is a moderated discussion list, the
opinions expressed on it are the sole property of the poster, and the
editor assumes no responsibility for them.
 

©2011 Hardy Cook. All rights reserved.