Tuesday, December 23, 2003

Stylometry unravelling literary problems

Thanks to David Gentile on Synoptic-L for the link to this very interesting article by Erica Klarreich from Science News Online:

Bookish Math: Statistical tests are unraveling knotty literary mysteries

Its theme is the use of stylometry to solve difficult literary problems, with a special focus on The Royal Book of Oz, which has been subjected to analysis by José Binongo. He has been able to demonstrate that it was written by Ruth Plumly Thompson and not Frank L. Baum. The article does not discuss the New Testament though there have been some attempts to use stylometry to analyse problems in NT texts. The difficulty, I suppose, for many of the NT issues is that one does not have the same kind of definitive, large samples of writings from the authors in question, as one does have in the case of Ruth Plumly Thompson and Frank L. Baum. David Gentile, who provided this link on Synoptic-L, has his own Statistical Approach to the Synoptic Problem.

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