[PW] Verifying Duchamp Quote

Elizabeth Barksdale ebarksdale at udallas.edu
Tue Nov 28 09:21:52 PST 2017

Yes, I'm starting to think in this case. Maybe people consolidated
Duchamp's general attitude or some longer similar thing he said into that
quotable quote. Or maybe he said it word for word, but if it wasn't written
down, who could know? I'm digging into the German source the patron gave
and still nothing solid. Duchamp said a lot of interesting stuff about art
that is verifiable, which might be better than hunting down and digging
through tons of interviews and articles because this researcher might still
come up short.

I live with a journalist who's getting back into interviewing. He strives
to be very accurate but talking to him, I can see how that's a challenge at
times. It's a good thing you looked over your interview transcripts, but
sometimes the interviewees don't have time to verify etc.

Another friend who's a book editor was tracking down some quote that was
actually a fictional character from a sci-fi show, but some sites credited
her as a "motivational quote writer." It was pretty hilarious; I wish I
remembered the exact name of this alleged person and her quote!

I'm rambling but thanks for your input. I really appreciate this list, and
it's interesting quotes are such an issue in the meme age, but it happened
before the Internet too from the write-up of Garson's book on the subject.


On Tue, Nov 28, 2017 at 10:22 AM, John Cowan <cowan at ccil.org> wrote:

> On Tue, Nov 28, 2017 at 10:57 AM, Elizabeth Barksdale <
> ebarksdale at udallas.edu> wrote:
> general question for Garson and everyone else-- has it ever been your
> > experience that sometimes quotes are possibly real, maybe hearsay, and
> > there's not a sure way to know which is which?
> >
> Oh yes, particularly when dealing with what people are supposed to have
> *said* as opposed to written.  Even relatively verbatim transcribers like
> the Congressional Record and various national Hansards are not entirely to
> be trusted, as they routinely clean up language.  News sources edit what
> people say relentlessly to make it into prose.  (The one time I was
> interviewed, the reporter sent me a draft of her article, which was filled
> with me saying all sorts of gibberish.  I sent it back at once with the
> gibberish translated into English prose that correctly represented what I
> was saying, and she thanked me for the extra effort.)
> The only completely safe primary sources for speech are video and audio,
> and even they can be easily and cheaply edited nowadays.  It's kind of
> ironic that ever since the Rodney King business we place great emphasis on
> video/audio evidence as well as eyewitness testimony, just as the first is
> now subject to almost unlimited tampering and the second has been
> discredited by tests like the monkey-business illusion <
> https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IGQmdoK_ZfY>.
> In the end, multiple paper copies held in libraries are one of the few
> highly tamper-resistant sources of data.  The Ministry of Truth would have
> a much easier time of it today than in 1984, never mind 1948 when Orwell
> was writing.
> --
> John Cowan          http://vrici.lojban.org/~cowan        cowan at ccil.org
> Mos Eisley spaceport.  You will never see a more wretched hive of scum
> and villainy --unless you watch the Jerry Springer Show.
>         --georgettesworld.com
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Liz Barksdale
Head Reference Librarian
University of Dallas, Irving, TX
ebarksdale at udallas.edu

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