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Joe Gould
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melliot's picture

Contributor

Say what you will about Joe Gould the man, but any painting that inspires a journalist to pen the phrase "a symphony of cocks" is alright by us.

For over three decades Joe Gould, a Greenwich Village eccentric also known as Professor Seagull, told everyone he was writing the longest book ever written, "An Oral History of Our Time" – approximately 9 million words. He was a homeless Harvard graduate who frequented the bars, and was supported by the local artists, writers, and poets.

Joseph Mitchell, a writer for the New Yorker, wrote two articles about Joe and his opus. When he found out he was duped, Mitchell wrote a book called "Joe Gould’s Secret". He was so upset about being hoodwinked, he never wrote anything again!

Ian Holm and Stanley Tucci starred in the film version of Joe Gould’s Secret in 2000. A lot of publicity for a guy who never actually wrote anything. The fame must have gone to his head because Gould thought himself quite the ladies' man. Perhaps that explains all those penises. Perhaps Neel is, and pardon the pun, poking fun at this legend in his own mind?