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This quote was posted to
a discussion list by Jess Nevins, a WN scholar. I’m using it to introduce the relationship between Wold-Newtonry and real scholarship. The pictures of
Rocambole and Napoleon III are just for illustration. I don’t have a copy of the drawing from the newspaper article that Jess quotes.
No academy--there are no institutions,
no central or formal journals, no authorities--anyone can
set up a website
No academics--I seem to be the only
academic and the only holder of advanced degrees, with the
exception of Win Eckert’s law degree
No formal understanding of the
conventions of academic discourse--most WN scholars are
courteous to one another and perform conventional
acknowledgement, but there are some who do not.
Shared norms--Typically, Farmer's work is respected and should not be contradicted lightly, but since Farmer's work is an interpretation of original texts (except for Farmer’s “An Interview with Lord Greystoke,” which can be viewed as a primary text) and since some of Farmer's theories are at odds with those texts, he can contradicted when textual evidence or research that indicates another, better interpretation.
occurs in communities in which scholars establish
their careers by navigating hierarchies of
status, prestige, and power. These hierarchies are embedded in long-standing networks of ranked credibility and legitimacy among schools, publishers, and journals.
Web-publishing has not developed enough
credibility and legitimacy to displace these
In Wold-Newtonry there are no such
hierarchies or networks. There is no money to be made in it, so since the creation of the Web there has been little or no paper publication, although there used to be fanzines in the 1960s and 1970s, and at the turn of the last century papers were read in colloquia.
outsourcing: In Some Unknown Members of the Wold-Newton Family
Tree, Jess Nevins claims to have found in the archives of the Historical
and Genealogical Museum of Brazoria County, Texas, three family albums of faded
photographs and a leather-bound diary by a person he refers
to as “MN” that contain a treasure trove of information about
the Wold Newton family. This diary is his primary source of
information for his articles, including for the claim that one Walter Carter was
John Carter’s nephew, the author of the framing devices in Edgar
Rice Burroughs’ Mars series. In writing
“Burroughing Beneath the Page: The Life of Matthew
Nicholas Carter,” I wanted to advance another
candidate and I discovered that Jess based his description
of the Carter nephew on only the first Mars trilogy. His conclusions
didn’t fit the published totality. So I
“outsourced” his diary by claiming that Matthew
Nicholas Carter created as gifts for family members
a series of “diaries” in which he recorded fictionalized histories of the large family, including photographs both genuine and unrelated
to the family; these latter he purchased at various
photography studios in the New York and
Richmond area and relabeled. I asserted
that Nevins’ source was one of these
diaries, and so his conclusions were mistaken.
Inventing sources: I
claim that my great-grandfather, Alan Francis Coogan, a
former vaudevillian and bar owner, was an agent of The Shadow
and connected him with the radio station and the pulp publishers
Street and Smith. Coogan died of
alcoholism in 1938, but I claim that he was poisoned--as the
Charlot was in 1935; Charlot was a young scriptwriter who is credited in histories of the radio show with creating the name
"The Shadow.” Because my great-grandfather gave his life in The
Shadow’s service, I am able to call upon his organization’s aid, which
gives me access to various restricted archives in which I find sources
that others have no access to. Dennis Power and I used these sources in
a series of articles on John Carter.
Misrepresent published work: In his hoax biography Tarzan Alive Farmer claims that Burroughs used
a form of coding to preserve the identities of the real people they wrote about, but
that the coding contains
clues that direct the diligent researcher through Burke’s Peerage and Extinct Peerage, and that anyone with enough
hard work can
follow the clues and track down Tarzan’s real identity, as Farmer claims to have done in his
interview with Lord Greystoke. WN
tried this with Burke’s
it doesn’t work.
Vandar Ang is a DC Comics
supervillain who was exposed to radiation from a meteor
and made immortal; he battles Superman and the Justice League. Kane is an anti-hero from a series of novels
by Karl Edward Wagner. In
prehistory (when Conan lived) he was cursed by an Elder God
with immortality. These two characters
have been conflated by WN scholars.
Dennis Power argues that the
Three Stooges are immortal, which is why their films show them living
in different time periods.
The same is true of Buzsla and
Ollu. This immortal pair have told
their stories to a number of writers, filmmakers, and
cartoonists, and so their stories have been represented in the
films of Laurel and Hardy, and Abbot and Costello; and in the
animated adventures of the Flintstones, and the comic
strip stories of Mutt and Jeff. Dennis
is not saying that Laurel and Hardy are immortal, but that
they have taken the stories of these two immortals as source
material over and over again.
The important thing about this
slide is that it shows how Dennis Power manipulated
the photograph to show what he wanted, including adding the
credit line to make it look legitimate.