Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Things to Do

I should go through old issues of Fact magazine, identifying the authors of articles that have fake bylines. Onofrio Bruni was one fake byline. Did Robert Anton Wilson put his name on "Of Transcendental Beauty and Crawling Horror"? A very fine woman writer was the author of "How a Middle-Class Housewife Gets an Abortion," but she didn't want her real name used--and I've forgotten it! She wrote stuff in her head, then put it quickly down on paper. Was Gaylord Briley s fake byline, or was there really such a person? I myself used the fake byline, Warner Brown.

Origin: I sent an anecdote to Coronet, a magazine that has long been defunct. I was eagerly awaiting it to be printed--I was very young at the time. When the anecdote was finally published,in the very last issue of Coroneet, it was attributed to Warner Brown -- thanks to my scribbled handwriting.

The New York Times once published a story under the byline, Fake Byline.

Dr. Robert Taylor was a nonexistent person sometimes mentioned in Medical Economics- There were five Dr. Robert Taylors in the country, and none of them ever noticed. ("Dr. Robert Taylor reports that ...")

Time magazine had a longstanding fake person, too, and when a Time staffer wrote for Fact, he mischievously used that name as his byline! A few Time magazine people wrote articles for Eros magazine, using fake names. One of them later became head of a journalism school. Damn good writer, too.

John Saks was one of those Time writers. It was he who proposed the toast, sham pain for my real friends, real pain for my sham friends. Very witty guy. Whatever happened to him? He wrote an updated version of Lysistrata for Eros magazine; Dwight Macdonald, no less, praised it.* Kaufend was another Time writer who worked with Eros and with Fact and with Moneysworth.

*I was pissed; I had found an old, unexpurgated version of the play, and was furious that we didn't publish THAT.

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