Spotlight on stylometric text analysis - Fratelli Spada - Prose stories
Mandrake - Il Vascello was the regular series of Mandrake comic books published by the Italian publisher Fratelli Spada. Being the direct continuation of a similar series previously released by the La Freccia publications, with a total of 474 issues released from 1962 to 1980. Although it was essentially the same publication for the entire run, it was relaunched with restarted numbering several times, dividing the run into four distinctive series.
On April 16, 1972, a new start was founded on a larger format size and with sub-title Albi del Vascello – Serie Cronologica. The Serie Cronologica issues 1 to 8 had a dual numbering; Serie Cronologica #1 was also Mandrake #33, continuing the numbering of the previous third series.
Fratelli Spada - Prose storie
The first twelve issues of the Cronologica series have an illustrated Mandrake short story similar to the corresponding L'Uomo Mascherato (The Phantom) series. Non of these short stories are credited to the writer.
The Italian titles for the Mandrake series are: "Una lezione meritata", "Trappola per una ladra", "Un atto di solidarietà", "Rapina al parco", "I dirottatori", "La forza della persuasione", "Quattro chiacchiere per il thè", "Il prepotente", "Morte nel sotterraneo", "La mano del diovolo", "Il miraggio del cercatore" and "Rapina in 'la' maggiore".
For the Phantom series the Italian titles are: "Assalto al treno", "I razziatori", "Un regolamento di conti", "A prova di piombo", "Guerra ai pirati", "Il bandar bianco", "L'immagine che accusa", "Nella fossa della tigre", "L'ostaggio", "L'agguato", "Un pazzo nella giungla" and "La piena".
The corpus consists of:
- The twelve Mandrake stories in Italian:
- fsp-M_01-it - "Una lezione meritata",
- fsp-M_02-it - "Trappola per una ladra",
- fsp-M_03-it - "Un atto di solidarietà",
- fsp-M_04-it - "Rapina al parco",
- fsp-M_05-it - "I dirottatori",
- fsp-M_06-it - "La forza della persuasione",
- fsp-M_07-it - "Quattro chiacchiere per il thè",
- fsp-M_08-it - "Il prepotente",
- fsp-M_09-it - "Morte nel sotterraneo",
- fsp-M_10-it - "La mano del diovolo",
- fsp-M_11-it - "Il miraggio del cercatore" and
- fsp-M_12-it - "Rapina in 'la' maggiore"
- Nine stories from the Phantom series in Italian.
- fsp-P_02-it - "I razziatori",
- fsp-P_03-it - "Un regolamento di conti",
- fsp-P_04-it - "A prova di piombo",
- fsp-P_05-it - "Guerra ai pirati",
- fsp-P_06-it - "Il bandar bianco",
- fsp-P_07-it - "L'immagine che accusa",
- fsp-P_09-it - "L'ostaggio",
- fsp-P_11-it - "Un pazzo nella giungla" and
- fsp-P_12-it - "La piena".
- Six of the Mandrake and five the Phantom stories from the corresponding French editione:
- F-fsp-M_02-fr - "La main dans le sac",
- F-fsp-M_05-fr - "Pirates de l'air",
- F-fsp-M_06-fr - "La force de la persuasion",
- F-fsp-M_07-fr - "Le the chez Narda",
- F-fsp-M_10-fr - "La main du diable",
- F-fsp-M_11-fr - "Le mirage du chercheur d'or",
- F-fsp-P_04-fr - "A l'épreuve des balles",
- F-fsp-P_07-fr - "L'image qui accuse",
- F-fsp-P_08-fr - "Dans la fosse du togre",
- F-fsp-P_09-fr - "L'otage" and
- F-fsp-P_10-fr - "Le guet-apens",
- In addition, three Italian authors with four short stories each:
- Luigi Pirandello: "Nel Dubbio", "Il marito di mia moglie", "Fuga" and "Certi Obblighi"
- Gabriele d'Annunzio: "La morte del duca d'ofena", "I marenghi", "Il traghettatore" and "Agonia"
- Adolfo Albertazzi: "L’ombrello", "Le penne del pavone", "La fiumana" and "Francesco mio"
Analysis using R
The goal of this analysis of the prose stories published by Fratelli Spada is to see if all stories were written by the same author, or if multiple authors were involved.
Most Frequent Words
100 MFW and Classic Delta distance
The twelve short stories by three different Italian writers clustering into three main branches. One for each author as seen in fig. 1.
The twelve short stories with Mandrake in Italian splitting in two distinct branches (fig. 2), like the nine short stories with the Phantom (fig. 3). An analysis of both the twelve Mandrake and the nine Phantom stories splitting into two major branches with a clear distinction between the stories of Mandrake and the Phantom (fig. 4).
This indicates that it was not the same author who wrote the short stories about Mandrake and the Phantom. Furthermore, the short stories for the various characters also branch out, which indicates that there may be several authors involved.
According to the Ethnologue, Italian and French are the closest in terms of vocabulary of all the modern Romance languages, sharing an estimated 89% of words. In comparison the lexical similarity between French and English is 0.27%. Even if the languages are similar adding the French short stories to the Italian corpus will splitt the analysis into one branch for each language (fig. 5).
More interesting is if one translate the French short stories into Italian (using google translate) they will branch closes to the original Italian text. Even if the translated text is not identical with the original Italian text (fig. 6).
2-952 MFW and Manhatten distance
An analysis visualized in a bootstrap consensus tree of the twelve Mandrake and seven the Phantom stories splitting into three distinct branches (fig. 5). Indicating at least three different writers. Interesting the eleventh story with the Phantom branches with the eleventh story with Mandrake.
A further analysis of these short stories should also include the last five stories of the Phantom.