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 the way he solves his so much not easy cases
Don Foster is the world's first literary detective. knowing that everyone's use of language is as certain as his or her DNA, Foster built a innovative method for settling on the author in the back of nearly any nameless rfile. Now, during this mesmerizing booklet, he explains his options and invitations readers to sit down via his part as he searches a mysterious textual content for the clues that whisper the author's name.
Foster's distinctive abilities first got here to mild while a front-page New York Times article introduced his discovery formerly unattributed poem used to be written by way of 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 concerning the...
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Additional info for Author Unknown. On the Trail of Anonymous
When I reached the parking lot, the punctual bus driver was already pulling away. I chased her down with arms flailing. I didn’t know what I had in my bag, but it looked pretty interesting. On the way home, I read the elegy in snatches, then put it down, then picked it up again, my opinion of its Shakespearean qualities ranging from “Maybe,” to “Yes,” to “Never in a million years,” and back again. The original 1612 text of the elegy was made difficult to read by erratic punctuation and dozens of typographical errors, the result of George Eld’s careless or hasty printing, and by the poet’s own difficult, often convoluted, sentence construction.
Introducing myself, I said that I disagreed with him concerning the value of internal evidence in the determination of authorship. I mentioned, too, that I had just received a two-page reader’s report in which the anonymous author took issue with my interest in a 1612 funeral poem. This anonymous report, I said, might have been done by a very good Schoenbaum imitator but was it not possibly written by Mr. Schoenbaum himself? I asked if we might yet discuss this matter of “A Funeral Elegy,” as its authorship was not, for me, an unimportant or uninteresting question.
While waiting to hear back from Oxford, I had been reading the work of Samuel Schoenbaum, a distinguished Shakespearean whose theoretical position was that you can’t tell who wrote what on the basis of internal evidence, and whose work—that opinion, of course, excepted—I admired. The reviewer’s criticism and language fell on my boxed ears like a drubbing from Samuel Schoenbaum. Closer study confirmed it. The linguistic habits in my anonymous report, and in Schoenbaum’s published scholarship, were indistinguishable one from the other.
Author Unknown. On the Trail of Anonymous by Don Foster