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Can a writer disguise a gender under

pseudonyms? James Tiptree, Jr. and


Raccoona Sheldon.
IGALA 9 at City University of Hong Kong, 2016/5/20
Meiji University, Ph.D. Student
Miki Kimura

Todays Presentation
1. Introduction to Stylometry
2. Literary Criticism for James Tiptree, Jr.
3. Results from Statistical Analysis
4. Conclusions

[1-1] What is Stylometry?


Stylometry
The use of statistical methods to analyze the literary style
of a piece of writing. (Macmillan Dictionary Online)
The technique of making statistical analyses of the
features of a literary style, esp. by means of a computer.
(The OED Online)

[1-2a] Previous Studies


Mendenhall (1901)
Shakespeare = Bacon

Brinegar (1963)
Mark Twain the author of the Q. C. S. letters

Mosteller and Wallace (1964)


Author verification of Federalist Papers

[1-2b] Previous Studies


Burrows (1987)
Intra-authorial Variations in Jane Austens Texts

Jin, Kabashima, and Murakami (1993)


Intra-authorial variations in a Japanese Authors Texts

Juola (2013)
J. K. Rowling = Robert Galbraith cf. Kimura and Kubota (2015)

[1-2c] Previous Studies


From Kimura and Kubota (2015)
Non-Fantasy novels
(Works by Robert
Galbraith & CV)

Fantasy novels
(Harry Potter Series)

[2-1] What is James Tiptree, Jr.?


Who is She?
Name
Alice Bradley Sheldon
(1915/8/24 - 1987/5/19)
Pen Names
James Tiptree, Jr. (1967~)

Raccoona Sheldon (1972~)

[2-2a]
Reasons for Hiding Her True Identity
The first was that I wanted to conceal my writing from my
colleagues in the university. (I am a retired experimental
psychologist.)

Secondlyand mainlyI was sure the first stories wouldnt sell. I


was prepared to spend the traditional five years of papering the
walls with rejection slips
I intended to try different name with each submission.
Sheldon (1986: 389-390)

[2-2b]
Reason for Using the Female Pen Name
A few violently prowoman ideas came to me,
and I saw that they were simply noncredible
under a mans name, so I invented a female
pseudonym (Raccoona Sheldon) for these.
Sheldon (1986: 390)

[2-2c] Talking about Sexuality


I always told the plain truth about myself in my letters;
my bibliography is ambisexualArmy, government,
academe.
And I stood ashamed before the woman writers who had
used their own female names in cracking the
predominantly male world of SF. I had taken the easy
path.
Sheldon (1986: 390-391)

[2-3a] (Before Revealing)


Literary Criticisms for James Tiptree Jr.
Silverberg. (1975: ) I find absurd, for there is to me
something ineluctably masculine about Tiptrees writing.
I dont think the novels of Jane Austen could have been
written by a man nor the stories of Ernest Hemingway by
a woman, and in the same way I believe the author of the
James Tiptree stories is male.

[2-3a] (Before Revealing)


Literary Criticisms for James Tiptree Jr.
Silverberg. (1975: ) So, then, James
Tiptreea man of 50 or 55, I guess, possibly
unmarried, fond of outdoor life, restless in his
everyday existence, a man who has seen much of
the world and understands it.

[2-3b] (After Revealing)


Literary Criticisms for James Tiptree Jr.
Raccoona, I think, has less control, thus less wit
and power. She seem a good deal younger than
Tip. Le Guin (1976)

The masculine manner of Tiptrees style is


cunning contrivance. Lefanu (1989)

[2-3b] (After Revealing)


Literary Criticisms for James Tiptree Jr.
Kotani (1994: 53)
There is a comparison of James Tiptree with Ernest Hemingway
and the description of the masculinity of Tiptrees manner of
writing.

Kotani (1999: 84)


There is the intra-authorial variation in Alice Sheldons texts after
revealing her true identity.

Intra-authorial
Variations in
Alice Sheldons Texts

[3-1a] Cluster Analysis

[3-1b] Principal Component Analysis

[3-1d] Discriminant Analysis


Classification Accuracy

Table 1

79.17%
Cpro = 87.08 %
Cmax = 93.06 %

Tiptree

Raccoona

Tiptree

55

12

Raccoona

[3-1e] Support Vector Machines


Classification Accuracy

Table 2

93.06%
Cpro = 87.08 %
Cmax = 93.06 %

Tiptree Raccoona
Tiptree

67

Raccoona

Inter-authorial Variations
Comparison between
Alice Sheldon and Ernest Hemingway

[3-2a] Cluster Analysis


Ernest
Hemingways
works

[3-2b] Principal Component Analysis


Alice Sheldons
Works

Ernest
Hemingways
Works

[3-2c] Principal Component Analysis

[3-2d] Discriminant Analysis


Classification Accuracy

Table 3

93.66%
Cpro = 46.69 %
Cmax = 49.30 %
Cpro 1.25 = 58.36 %

Hemingway

Tiptree

Raccoona

Hemingway

70

Tiptree

63

Raccoona

[3-2e] Support Vector Machines


Classification Accuracy

Table 4

96.49%
Cpro = 46.69 %

Hemingway Tiptree

Raccoona

Hemingway

70

Tiptree

67

Raccoona

Cmax = 49.30 %
Cpro 1.25 = 58.36 %

Conclusions
On intra-authorial variation in Alice Sheldons texts
Statistical analyses cannot detect the difference between works

written by James Tiptree and works by Raccoona Sheldon.


On inter-authorial variation in Alice Sheldons texts and Ernest Hemingways
texts

Statistical analyses can detect the difference between written by Alice

Sheldon and works by Ernest Hemingway.

References
Burrows, J. F. (1987) Computation into Criticism: A study of Jane Austen's novels and an
experiment in method. Oxford: Clarendon Press.
Burrows, J. F. (1992). Not unless you ask nicely: The interpretative nexus between analysis

and information. Literary and Linguistic Computing, 7(2), 91-109.


Burrows, J. F., & Hassal, A. J. (1988). Anna Boleyn and the authenticity of Fielding's feminine
narratives. Eighteenth Century Studies, 21, 427-453.
Hirst, G., & Feiguina, O. G. (2007). Bigrams of syntactic labels for authorship discrimination
of short texts. Literary and Linguistic Computing, 22(4), 405-417.
(1994). : SF : , 40-67
Phillips, J. (2006). James Tiptree, Jr.: The Double Life of Alice B. Sheldon. New York, NY: St. Martins
Press.
Silverberg, R. (1975). Who Is Tiptree, What Is He? Warm Worlds and Otherwise. -