Sunday, October 28, 2007

Opus 40 on Wikipedia

This was more of an adventure than I expected it to be -- certainly more than I would have hoped for.

There was a Wiki entry on Opus 40, and it was pretty good, with a couple of errors. But also,the entry was pretty short, and there was a lot more that could be said, so Iended up pretty much rewriting the whole piece. That was the easy part. I posted it to Wikipedia, and it was promptly rejected, for violation of the original sources and conflict of interest guidelines. Conflict of interest because of being related to Harvey, and Original Source because I didn't reference already published material, which is apparently a no-no. And one that makes sense in most cases, but not in this one. As I wrote, disputing the decision,

  • If my information on Opus 40 is unsourced, then all information on Opus is unsourced, because I am the original source of all of it. If you'll check the link that's up there now, to the New York Times article, you'll see that it is entirely based on an interview with me.
This did not impress my censor, who responded,

Did you read the original research and conflict of interest guidelines?

I followed it up with:

Yes, but in this case they don't make sense. You'll allow the Opus 40 website, which I wrote, to be used as a source, and you'll allow the New York Times article, which is entirely based on an interview with me and quotes me extensively, as a source, but you won't allow me to correct errors that those secondary sources made?

And yes, I am a descendant of Harvey Fite, but this has not stopped every other piece of literature written about Opus 40, from the sources you've quoted to numerous other newpaper and magazine articles, and chapters from various books, from using me as a wource. I know more about the subject than anyone eise.

By this time, the guy had lost interest in me, and didn't respond at all. So I decided that I would post my new bio of Harvey on the Opus 40 website, so that I could then refer to it, and I'd get Peter Jones, who has the creds as a professor of fine art, to submit it.

I got as far as rewriting the Opus 40 website, but then Wikipedia did an about face, thanks to an online friend who does a lot of stuff for them, and posted my entry, which you can read there now. In posting it to the website, I expanded it a little more, and I think it's pretty good now. You can judge for yourself.

1 comment:

Conor Robin Madigan said...

Your work in POETRY, february 1964 kicks so much ass. I'm still high from the read. Shit man, I'm glad there's someone out their with voice that strong. Thank you.