The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 15.0886 Friday, 16 April 2004
From: Mac Jackson <
Date: Friday, 16 Apr 2004 15:40:18 +1200
Subject: 15.0878 Stylometrics
Comment: RE: SHK 15.0878 Stylometrics
How silly of me to misspell Terence Hawkes's name. I apologize.
>Does stylometrics really represent a new dawn?
>'our analysis, which has hitherto been qualitative, must become
>quantitative; we must cease to be empirical and become scientific; in
>criticism as in other matters, the test that decides between science and
>empiricism is this: "Can you say, not only of what kind, but how much?
>If you cannot weigh, measure, number your results, however you may be
>convinced yourself, you must not hope to convince others . . . you are
>merely a guesser'.
>Thus the Shakespearean critic the Reverend Frederick G. Fleay, leading
>advocate of style and metrical tests, one of the most diligent of the
>'disintegrators' and unsurprisingly nicknamed 'the industrious flea'.
>The occasion was the inaugural meeting, in 1874, of the New Shakspere
>Society devoted to the study of the Bard . . . 'in this Victorian time,
>when our geniuses of science are so wresting her secrets from nature as
>to make our days memorable forever'.
>Ho hum. In such a context, does anyone else find it heartening that avid
>seekers after textual accuracy such as Jonathan Hope and Mac Jackson
>should continue to believe that there is a contributor to SHAKSPER named
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