Lou Siegel

September 7, 2004

Post #1749 – 20040907

Please contact me regarding my uncle, the artist Louis Schanker. (You certainly captured his essence in The Pinkwater Copyright Infringement Jamberoo.

Daniel replies:

I feel the need to explain that the passages you found were written as a contractual obligation. An agent I employed for a time cooked up a deal with a sleazy book-packager. The idea was that I would create a ""bible"" on which other writers would base a series of novels. They were supposed to be good authors--names were mentioned--and I even heard from one pretty famous and respectable guy who wanted to participate. In the event, the packager hired much, much cheaper writers, and the novels, when sent to me, were perfectly awful. I was obliged, having taken money, to write some kind of foreword or afterword, or comment on the novels. The books were unreadable, so I just typed anything that came into my head until I had enough words on the page. The whole thing was an embarrassment--but it turned out that the title the packager had chosen for the series violated some trademark for a video game or something. A lawsuit was threatened, and the editions were withdrawn or suppressed. I soon therafter fired the agent, and have hardly heard anything about those books, until now.

Louis Shanker was a good art teacher at Bard College in the 50s and 60s. In fact, he was the only good art teacher there. So, a new college president, Reamer Kline, who is remembered as a great educator, gave him the boot. I stormed into his office, yelling that he had fired the only good teacher the art department had. What he told me was, ""Louis is well-known, wealthy and apt to stand up in a meeting and express his opinions. I can't have teachers like that here. I have an organization to run. I want younger men who live here, and depend on the college for their whole income."" It was my first look at corporate-think, and I've always sort of liked Reamer for giving me the insight. He always liked me too, for some reason. Of course, I thought he was an evil man. He was an Episcopal priest, by the way.