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 such a lot tough cases
Don Foster is the world's first literary detective. understanding that everyone's use of language is as unique as his or her DNA, Foster built a innovative technique for settling on the author in the back of virtually any nameless rfile. Now, during this mesmerizing e-book, he explains his thoughts and invitations readers to take a seat by means of his aspect as he searches a mysterious textual content for the clues that whisper the author's name.
Foster's detailed talents 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 couple 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 related to the...
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Extra resources for Author Unknown. On the Trail of Anonymous
Whether for literary or criminal investigation, words are my stock-in-trade. A criminal offender hoping to avoid detection may change his appearance, his job, his place of residence. When questioned, he may change his story. Writers, too, may lie, denying their responsibility for a controversial or profitable or incriminating text. But none of us can easily change our basic vocabulary, our personal store of available words. Human beings, in that respect, are the prisoners of their own language.
With Shakespeare, I found myself on the front page of the New York Times, and hooked by my pants suspenders to a fast-moving train. I had to run fast to keep up. The arcane world of dusty archival libraries suddenly melted into a blur of political intrigue and criminal mayhem. This was not entirely un-Shakespearean in itself, but I was unprepared for the transition from academic discussions of fictional violence and cupidity to being a principal in cases involving corporate fraud or political scandal or homicidal violence.
It is from a range of finite possibilities in the brain’s symbolic store that writers assemble their own words and phrasing. If I have made one important contribution to attributional research, whether in literary studies or criminal investigation, it is the perception that the mind of a writer (poet or felon, no matter which) cannot be understood without first inquiring after the texts, including television, film, and even music CDs, by which that mind has been conditioned. You are what you read.