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Exploring conscious imitation of style with ready-made software


This article describes some approaches to imitation analysis and the use of ready-made software for this task. Devising computer-assisted techniques for exploring the conscious literary imitation of style is an application of particular relevance to contemporary Hispanic narrative and one that can be handled with a microcomputer and readily accessible software. The article describes some approaches to imitation analysis and the use of ready-made software to assess the effectiveness of stylistic imitation of eighteenth-century historical chronicle in La renuncia del héroe Baltasar (The Renunciation of the Hero Baltasar), by the Puerto Rican novelist Rodríguez Juliá. Even when employing familiar procedures of text analysis with computer, comparing a fictional text with a multiple and diverse corpus of authentic historical documents requires somewhat unique assumptions and hypotheses, since neither authorship, influence, or authenticity are in question.

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Estelle Irizarry is Professor of Spanish at Georgetown University, Washington, D. C., and author of 18 books and annotated editions dealing with modern Hispanic literature, art, and hoaxes.

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Irizarry, E. Exploring conscious imitation of style with ready-made software. Comput Hum 23, 227–233 (1989).

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Key Words

  • style analysis
  • hoaxes
  • ready-made software
  • historical chronicle
  • vocabulary
  • Spanish language
  • Puerto Rican literature