By Don Foster
From the professor who invented literary forensics—and fingered Joe Klein because the writer of Primary Colors—comes the interior tale of ways he solves his so much tough cases
Don Foster is the world's first literary detective. knowing that everyone's use of language is as exact as his or her DNA, Foster constructed a progressive technique for selecting the author in the back of virtually any nameless record. Now, during this mesmerizing publication, he explains his recommendations and invitations readers to take a seat by way of his part as he searches a mysterious textual content for the clues that whisper the author's name.
Foster's specific talents first got here to gentle while a front-page New York Times article introduced his discovery formerly unattributed poem used to be written through Shakespeare. a number of weeks later, Foster solved the secret that had obsessed the United States for months whilst he pointed out Joe Klein because the writer of Primary Colors. Foster additionally took on a case regarding the...
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Extra info for Author Unknown. On the Trail of Anonymous
But with most anonymous texts, from Anglo-Saxon lays, to Elizabethan playscripts, to Internet libels, stylistic evidence can take us a lot further than many scholars and detectives have realized. Drawing on the success of my precursors in attributional research, and learning from their mistakes, I have sought to develop reliable methods by which to distinguish one writer’s language from another’s. Though it would be interesting to examine the language of identical twins for possible exceptions, I venture to say that no two individuals write exactly the same way, using the same words in the same combinations, or with the same patterns of spelling and punctuation.
But when I announced that “Joe Klein wrote Primary Colors,” Joe Klein, who ought to know, said that he hadn’t. ” A second consideration dominating my selection of cases has been a desire to illustrate the curve of my own learning as I moved beyond the sphere of academics to criminal investigation and forensic linguistics. Earlier I mentioned the Unabom case as a wakeup call. To assist Unabom prosecutors, I had to learn the difference between material that was useful at the investigative level and material that was actually admissible in court.
Notwithstanding the pained outcries of a few Shakespeareans and the pre-confession Joe Klein, no one got hurt. The big question for me was whether the methodology used on Renaissance poems and plays would also work on popular fiction. More specifically, would it work on Primary Colors? I believed it would. But when I announced that “Joe Klein wrote Primary Colors,” Joe Klein, who ought to know, said that he hadn’t. ” A second consideration dominating my selection of cases has been a desire to illustrate the curve of my own learning as I moved beyond the sphere of academics to criminal investigation and forensic linguistics.