The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 15.0869 Wednesday, 14 April 2004
From: Jonathan Hope <
Date: Wednesday, 14 Apr 2004 12:29:52 +0100
Subject: 15.0785 Stylometrics
Comment: Re: SHK 15.0785 Stylometrics
This is a very late response, but Terrence Hawkes has characteristically
distilled some of the common objections to stylometrics into a handy
snack-sized post. Uncharacteristically, it's also superficial and
>The defining character of stylometrics lies in its leaden-footed
>plodding after that modern chimera, authenticity.
Completely wrong: working on stylometrics has taught me exactly why
'authenticity' is a problematic concept.
>In the manufacture of
>soul-gelding, buttock-clenching tedium, this is a pursuit that has few
'gelding' and 'buttock-clenching' in close proximity. Dr Freud - anything?
>No wonder. To shackle texts grimly to specific authors, is to
>deny that they have overriding and unassignable imperatives and styles
>of their own.
No 'taint, sir. I didn't have you down as such a neo-romanticist. Why
do you wish to grimly shackle texts to specific overriding and
unassignable imperatives and styles?
Strathclyde University http://www.sinrs.stir.ac.uk/
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