Talk:John Fare

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Untitled[edit] TKTKTKTK 05:45, 15 February 2007 (UTC)

"It is difficult to imagine that in the year 2007 - in which this is being written - there would be purists who would remove a biography from the general intellect on the count that it was fictional or a 'hoax'. As we know from the Bush Administration, the facts do not matter, it is the effects that concern us. The figure of John Fare, whether fictional, real, or a hoax as it has been labeled, is irrelevant. Let this serve as an introduction for the figure of Mr. Fare, may he rest in peace.
And for the purists, who at one point posed a threat to the existence of this page, maybe they can busy themselves with labelling jesus and mohammed a hoax as well!"
I removed this from the main page. John Fare is a fictional character. There's room to debate whether his fictionalized history is, itself, a work of art, or just a hoax. Either way, I'm not sure that it belongs on Wikipedia. TKTKTKTK 04:44, 7 March 2007 (UTC)

Removal concerns[edit]

My guess is that those who believe John Fare staged his own death are right. Because my suspicion is that only he would care enough to come onto this page and try to have it removed. Furthermore, given that he has had a lobotomy, his brain is not working so well, which explains this stupid insistence on having this entry removed. But with all due respect John, at this point, you should just let the story go on, it no longer needs your assistance. —The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talkcontribs) 18:19, 7 March 2007 (UTC)

Major rewrite[edit]

This is still pretty bad, but I have taken a crack at making it more encyclopedic. It's clear this is a work of fiction that has taken on a life of its own as an urban legend among those who want to believe it's true. Jokestress (talk) 04:31, 19 April 2012 (UTC)

Comments on Jokestress' clean-up[edit]

This appears to be Jokestress' first review of the John Fare story. He makes the assumption that it is an urban myth, which it may well be, but offers no proof. To me, that's a a bad going in position without researching the facts, considering it was a major edit. In cleaning up my previous edits, which was an attempt to add information around the embellished Craig version vs. the original Shein version that I bothered to find, some of the comparisons have been conveniently left out. Deliberate or accidental (i.e. did not research to pick the correct option) is hardly 'encyclopedic' as Jokestress wants this article to be. If you're trying to prove the story is an urban myth, deleting facts is not the way to do it, you are, in fact, contributing to the myth. Sadly most of the efforts around trying to prove or dis-prove the Fare story have been around the Craig version. One key point left in by Jokestress is his link to Danny Devos site as one that has the Shein original. It is my blog, that had the pdf of the original, not Devos. Further, the Devos Link shows the early attempt to contact Isaac Gallery to confirm the performance date of 17 Sep 1968. All performances were on Fridays. My removed notes mention this. The Insect Trust Gazette only had 3 issues published. The published date of the article was in the 1968 issue. The 17 Sep 1968 is not a Friday, but a Tuesday. This is a bad mis-calculation by Craig by attributing the article publish date as being the year of the performance. An understandable mistake, but one which some tried to verify but without success, because the date should have been 1965 for Sep 17 to fall on a Friday. So most likely the editor's of ITG have had Shein's article since 1965 before publishing it in 1968. Issue 2 of ITG was published in the Summer of 65, so the article was not available for Issue 2. I'll leave it at that. As I live in Australia its a little difficult for me to research further. Any further research should be on the original article, not Craigs', as Criags' is the source for the whole mess and confusion. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Karakuri (talkcontribs) 14:26, 16 May 2012 (UTC)

My changes are not an attempt to prove anything. I am merely summarizing the reliable sources and removing the original research, some of which was added by you. Articles need to be sourced to books, news articles, and academic papers, not blogs. We can't use your blog as a source, and you shouldn't be adding your own blog anyway, as it is a conflict of interest. It is the consensus of published works that this person is a fictional character. Our article needs to make that clear. I left the external link to your site in place because I agree it seems useful. Jokestress (talk) 15:56, 16 May 2012 (UTC)

Hi Jokestress, it appears our discussion has to be public. I don't know if I can contact you another way. maybe you can contact me using my contact page on my website already mentioned. Anyway, I feel that your summarizing is ineffectual as , without understanding what's going on here, your selection of what bits to keep doesn't fare well, excuse the pun. The original article on John Fare by Shein was discovered by me, and the pdf is only available from my site, but it can be copied by others. Most, if not all subsequent research and attempts to prove or disprove the Fare story is based on Craig's version. Further, Craig's story is in response to Brown's comments and question, which people have accepted as fact without challenging. Craig's story is not his, but plagurized and embellished. Its taken 40 years (because of Google book imaging and OCRing) for Craig's story to be discredited. So far, discredited only by me as I've seen no other comments or updates on this fact anywhere on the net. So most of this wiki article has now become a sub-plot, a 40 year diversion, over the original story. Although 40 years too late, we have to start over again. Given that you're not going to prove anything, at least separate the two versions, i.e. the 40-year Craig story, and the new start of the original story - don't mix the two which your editing has achieved. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Karakuri (talkcontribs) 01:08, 18 May 2012 (UTC) Further, your response above suggests I do not offer the source. The original Shein article found in Insect Gazette is the source, as discovered by me, and a copy put into my blog as the only other way to get it is to buy a copy of an antiquarian bookseller or locate a library that has it. The consensus of publish works has to be clear, but exclusive to the the Brown/Craig version, not the newly discovered Shein version that pre-dates Craig's. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Karakuri (talkcontribs) 06:49, 18 May 2012 (UTC) Since I wrote the above, I've had a go at improving the wiki entry but only in TALK here John Fare (sometimes John Charles Fare or John Fahey or John Faré) was purported to be a performance artist whose acts were based around the robotic removal of his body parts. He allegedly committed suicide by decapitation onstage as part of his final act. The story was based around correspondence in the acclaimed Studio International published in 1972. Attempts to prove or disprove the claims made by the enquirer and respondent have lead to John Fare and his story to be generally considered an urban legend.[1] As at January 2012, another, earlier version of the John Fare story was discovered in Insect Trust Gazette and called "The Hand" by N.B. Shein. In reading this version, it becomes obvious that Tim Craig plagiarized, embellished, and made incorrect assumptions when offering the story as his own.



• 1 Sources for story • 2 Response • 3 References • 4 External links

[edit]Sources for story The original version was the short story "The Hand" by N.B. Shein, published in Insect Trust Gazette in 1968.[2] In November 1972, Tim Craig published an embellished version of Shein's original in reply to a letter to the editor of Studio International.[3] The reader, Graham Brown, was inquiring about an artist named Fahey who supposedly ended his career by having his head amputated onstage.[4][5][6] In Shein's short story, embellished by Craig, John Charles Fare was born in 1936 in Toronto and attended Forest Hill College. In 1959 he moved to London to study architecture at the Bartlett School of Architecture, but soon left to live in Copenhagen. He was briefly held in a mental health facility for exposing himself in public as performances. After his release, he was re-arrested for gluing objects to a car [only in Craig’s version]. The car's owner, musician and inventor Golni Czervath, did not press charges and befriended Fare [Only in Craig’s version]. The two developed a robotic operating table with painter Gilbert Andoff. The first performance was a lobotomy on Fare in June 1964. By the time Fare performed at the Isaacs Gallery in Toronto on 17 September 1968 [Which is not a Friday. This 1968 derived date Craig gets wrong – it should be Friday 17 September 1965], he "was short one thumb, two fingers, eight toes, one eye, both testicles, and several random patches of skin." The amputated parts were preserved in alcohol. That evening, he had his right hand amputated. Fare's body was fitted with small microphones, which transmitted his pulse and breathing frequency in a distorted fashion. Craig said Fare had performed six more shows between 1968 and 1972. Attempts to confirm aspects of the story have not succeeded. The Isaacs Gallery stated in writing they were not aware of "John Fare" in any shows at their gallery at the time in 1968, which unfortunately we now know was not the correct year which should have been 1965.[7] [edit]Response The story was reprinted in a fanzine made in collaboration with the band Coil in 1987.[7] Fare's alleged performance was emulatedby a Fare impersonator during a Nocturnal Emissions concert in London in 1997.[8]Writing about the event, a British music journalist recounts: "Fare [the impersonator] cuts an eccentric figure. He wears trousers made from zips and has a diagram of a brain tattooed onto his shaven scalp. The performance artist placed his left hand on a chopping board with the fingers spread. Fare’s assistant, Jill Orr, is partially sighted and she slammed an axe between her boyfriend’s pinkies with increasing speed. Eventually the axe severed Fare’s little finger. This was the end of the performance art element within the evening’s entertainment".[9] Fare has been mentioned in connection with body art,[10] industrial culture,[11] and the practices of Rudolf Schwarzkogler and Bob Flanagan, and, like other performance artists, has been seen as a successor of the Christian martyrs.[12] He has also been mentioned in the Guardian in connection with the German artist Gregor Schneider[13] Critic Audrone Zukauskaite examined the durability of this legend in Art Lies magazine.[14] [edit]References 1. ^ Cramer, Florian (2006). Sodom Blogging: Alternative Porn and Aesthetic Sensibility. C'Lick Me: A Netporn Studies Reader. 2. ^ Shein, N.B. (1968) The Hand. Insect Trust Gazette, No. 3, pp. 1-4. 3. ^ Brown, Graham and Craig, Tim (November 1972). Correspondence. Studio International (#949), pp. 160–161. 4. ^ Apocalypse Culture, Adam Parfrey, Feral House, 1991, 2nd ed., pp. 95–96. 5. ^ John Fare 6. ^ Shirley R. Steinberg, Priya Parmar, Birgit Richard - 2006 Contemporary Youth Culture: An International Encyclopedia: Volume 2 - Page 317 7. ^ a b A Coil Magazine, on line, accessed 11-III-2007. 8. ^ Noctunrnal Emissions (2005). NIGEL AYERS / ANDREW LILES Four Compositions. Created for an imaginary performance by the legendary John Fare. Pipkin CDR (2005) 9. ^ Stewart Home in D>Tour magazine, December 1997. Cf. [1]. 10. ^ Schröder, Johannes Lothar. Identität - Überschreitung - Verwandlung. Happenings, Aktionen und Performances von bildenden Künstlern. Münster: LIT, 1990 11. ^ Jugend Kultur Archiv - The Industrial Culture scene 12. ^ AnyBody's Concerns 6(2003) 13. ^ Houses of horror, Gordon Burn, The Guardian, September 22, 2004, accessed on line 11-III-2007. 14. ^ Zukauskaite, Audrone (2008) John Fare - The Scandal of the Missing Body (Parts)., ArtLies, Issue 57, 2008 [edit]External links  1964 – Performance Artist using Robotic Props – John Fare (Canadian) via — Preceding unsigned comment added by Karakuri (talkcontribs) 07:23, 19 May 2012 (UTC)

Please list your concerns[edit]

User:Karakuri, it's not clear what you would like changed in the article. The information about the date discrepancy does not appear in a reliable source, so we can't add it. The article explains the original story by Shein, the later embellishment by Craig, and the responses. If you have other published facts you'd like to add, please list them below, along with the book, newspaper, or magazine where the fact appears. Jokestress (talk) 07:46, 19 May 2012 (UTC)

The urban legend which has resulted for John Fare is entirely based on the Brown/Craig version. I include Brown as he was the only one who suggested that he died from decapitation at his so called last performance. The date discrepancy is derived. Craig makes a claim that the performance mentioned in his version happened on Fri 17 September but also states that this was in 1968. Just before that he states all performances were on a Friday night and that day never varied. He also writes it as it he was there. When compared to the original article, only discovered earlier this year, the date of 1968 is not mentioned. I deduced that Craig, from the original's published date that he plagiarised from was 1968. Sadly he did not check his facts (no one else did either, not even that chap who wrote to the Isaac Gallery) that 17 Sept 1968 was not a Friday. His assumption was wrong. The only earlier date that has 17 sept on a Friday is 1965. This fact is circumstantially supported by the publish dates of Insect Gazette. Issue Number 2 was published in 1965, issue number 3 in 1968. Shein's article was most likely submitted in 1965, after the publishing of Issue no.2 and had to wait til 1968 before she saw it published. Had she known that she would have added the year in her article. There are numerous differences between the two articles most of which are documented in my blog. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Karakuri (talkcontribs) 11:01, 19 May 2012 (UTC)
Your blog is not a reliable source, and all your research about dates is original research which we can't use in the article. Please click the two links in my previous sentence for details on why your self-published materials on dates cannot be used on Wikipedia. If you are making a case that Fare was a real person instead of a fictional character created by Shein, you need to provide a book, magazine or news article which states that specifically. Jokestress (talk) 11:15, 19 May 2012 (UTC)
What do I need to do to say that 17 Sep 1968 is not a Friday? I don't think it needs original research to determine that fact. If I said today was Fri 19 May 2012, do I need original research to prove it is actually a Saturday? Also, if you had only read Shein's original article, what is there about it that suggests Fare wasn't a real person, and that the article was not presented as a piece of fiction? Have you read it? — Preceding unsigned comment added by Karakuri (talkcontribs) 11:56, 19 May 2012 (UTC)
You need to cite a reliable source where an author has previously published about this date discrepancy in relation to this biography. Not a blog. A reliable source. Otherwise it is original research, specifically synthesis. Wikipedia does not allow this kind of original research. We can only repeat information that has already been published in a reliable source about the John Fare story, with a citation of the original. If you have information that has already been published in a reliable source about the John Fare story stating that Fare is a real person, please provide the citation. I have read all the source material and all the secondary sources and added everything we can use to the article. If you have other published sources that back up the statements you'd like to add, please provide them. If you don't understand why we have these rules, you need to re-read the links in this reply. Jokestress (talk) 12:10, 19 May 2012 (UTC)
Sorry Jokestress, you're right. In that case, all references to my blog and to Shein's article should be removed. Maybe you should base your edits on the version before mine in Jan 2012. Other than you, no one else has edited it since. I'll go back to working on my blog. No hard feelings. Thanks for at least responding to my questions. Karakuri (talk) 12:28, 19 May 2012 (UTC)
I was giving up on this, but I can't sleep. It's bugging me still. First of all I've edited the article to remove all of my input as it doesn't comply to wiki guidelines. (for that matter, I now don't think any of it does). Just picking up on one point this time, you said earlier "If you are making a case that Fare was a real person instead of a fictional character created by Shein, you need to provide a book, magazine or news article which states that specifically."
I actually don't see anything in Shein's article (can I reference something that I can't prove exists?) that indicates its a fictional story. It may appear incredulous, but what proof is there one way or the other? If I need to provide proof that it is non-fiction, surely, by the same wiki rules, someone has to provide proof that it is a fiction. Non success in providing any proof at this point in time does not mean proof does or did not or never existed at all. Surely the original story, however it could be referenced, should stand as is, un-qualified until proof is provided to support it one way or the other?Karakuri (talk) 16:45, 19 May 2012 (UTC)
I have restored information about the 1968 short story, which is a published fact. We can cite that here. We can also cite the published embellishment by Craig and the report from Danny Devos which includes a letter he got from the gallery which Craig claimed was the site of an amputation performance. I have also added some quotations by Gabriel Lester from a 2007 French exhibit that explored themes of the legend. Notable people reporting information in self-published sources can be acceptable as reliable in some cases. I don't see much of a problem with linking to your site in the external links, even though we are not supposed to link to copyright violations. Your site seems to constitute fair use to me, though other editors may disagree. We have quotations from several people who state they believe this is a fiction. If you have a quotation, preferably by someone notable, saying Fare is real, we can look at adding it. This is a very obscure topic, but I believe there is enough written and created about it to make it notable. The word "proof" is not relevant here. Wikipedia's goal is verifiability, not truth. We are supposed to summarize all the verifiable materials published in reliable sources. The consensus among artists who have explored the topic is that John Fare is fictional. If we have someone who has disagreed in a published reliable source, we can include that as well. However, we cannot publish original research. I know this seems strange to someone new to the process, but this is all in place for a reason. It keeps articles like this from devolving into a lot of speculation and assertions that do not appear in the published record. It seems you have done a lot of research on this topic, but until you get it published in a book, newspaper, or magazine, we can't consider it for inclusion here. Jokestress (talk) 17:31, 19 May 2012 (UTC)
Hi Jokestress, Let's look at one point. The Shein article, where's the verifiable proof, sorry, can't use that word, so where have you verified it from for you to now include it? How do you know I didn't create it using photoshop? The Shein article is not mentioned anywhere else. In Reference 2 you have edited it as coming via Danny Devos. There's no mention of Shein's article in Danny Devos' site. Karakuri (talk) 01:47, 20 May 2012 (UTC)
You did not fabricate it. I've seen a comb-bound copy of Insect Trust Gazette, which is available via any decent research library, and it's archived in Google Books. The Devos article should be the source for the gallery disavowal. I'll fix that. Jokestress (talk) 02:17, 20 May 2012 (UTC)
The Google books entry shows issue #5, which doesn't exist. All you can see is an unreadable scan of a contents page. When I tried to locate a copy, it only listed one American university as having it. So we now have to take your word that you've seen it for you to include it? maybe you need to say that as there is no other verifiable evidence that I've found.
You also have been persistant in using the 1968 date for the origin of the Craig story, but all previous inputs and offerings of those listed only ever referenced the Craig 1972 version who mentioned the performance as happening in 1968. I'm meeting up with my daughter for lunch now so catch you a bit later. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Karakuri (talkcontribs) 02:35, 20 May 2012 (UTC)
Insect Trust Gazette is in numerous American libraries, including two libraries 15 minutes from my house. The Google version is also usable if you know how. I research and write about hoaxes as part of my work, and I have been doing this for a long time. Wikipedia's principle of verifiability implies nothing about ease of access to sources: some online sources may require payment, while some print sources may be available only in university libraries. Even if hadn't seen it, it can be verified, and that is acceptable for Wikipedia.
The Wikipedia entry says the original story was published in 1968, in ITG volume 3. It says the Craig embellishment was published in 1972. I am starting to find your debating style to be disruptive. I can assure you that I have done due diligence in vetting the sources independently from whatever you found. If you have something factual you want to correct in the article, please list it below, but I don't have the time or interest to keep sending links explaining how Wikipedia works or how I do research. Let's focus on improving the article. Jokestress (talk) 03:35, 20 May 2012 (UTC)
You say "The Wikipedia entry says the original story was published in 1968, in ITG volume 3. It says the Craig embellishment was published in 1972." That was information I supplied, but from what I've read of the Wiki rules, it doesn't seem admissible. Every other article written about the John Fare story is based on Craig's version, as it was the source. The Danny Devos evidence re Isaac Galleries specifically targets the 17 Sept 1968 date, only stated in Craig's response. In Craig's correspondence (published in 1972, not 1968 - why do you persist with 1968?), he says that John Fare performances are only on Fridays. Its a fact that 17 Sept 1968 is not a Friday. Shein's article just say that all performances were performed on Fridays, then says 17 Sept, and leaves out the year. The Isaac Gallery's response to Danny Devos is in response to the 1968 date, which I've deduced should have been in 1965. Sure, if Shein's article is to be included, readers need to understand that it is new material of which all articles to date, other than Craig's, is not based upon. Otherwise I feel that you are mis-leading them as to the source material everyone elses research/opinions are derived from.Karakuri (talk) 06:04, 20 May 2012 (UTC)
It's clear that contemporary authors were aware of the Shein article preceding the Craig embellishment. I have added a citation from The Press We Deserve by Richard Boston in 1970 (before Craig's 1972 embellishment), which notes the original source: "the recent detailed and quite horrifying account of John Fare's self-mutilation, reprinted from The Insect Trust Gazette." Are there any other issues of clarification you would like to see resolved in the article? Jokestress (talk) 06:41, 20 May 2012 (UTC)

I believe the urban legend status of this article is due to the existance of the John Fare wiki entry, and only since the entry originated. Excellent finding of the Richard Boston article, by the way, but it hasn't been referenced before by anyone contributing to this wiki. Everything to date contributing to John Fare as an urban legend has originated here, and only to the Brown/Craig version as published in Studio International. I've owned my copy of SI long before this wiki existed. I've always accepted it as true. Everything stated is plausable. When I went to publish it in my blog, I usually research the web to see what transpired since my last review. You reckon I wasn't surprised by what I found on wiki. That's when I found the Shein version. Further, there is nothing in or about Shein's article that suggested to me it was submitted as fiction. I still stand by that. Sadly, those trying to prove Craig's version have been mis-lead by Craig's embellishments and derivations (eg that date that gets mentioned a lot). So I would like all previous wiki additions to be expressly attributed to the Brown/Craig version. On another tact, your going in position is that "this is clearly a work of fiction..." Would you say that to the Shein version? If so, what is it in Shein's version that suggests to you that it is a piece of fiction or was presented as a piece of fiction?Karakuri (talk) 07:17, 20 May 2012 (UTC)

The Shein piece was published in a magazine that published edgy poetry and fiction. If the Shein story were nonfiction, facts would have been corroborated by now. I just added two more sources calling John Fare a legend or urban legend. The article makes it clear that the original was embellished by Craig, and it separates the Craig additions into a separate paragraph. If you want something changed, please propose the sentence you'd like below so we can discuss. Jokestress (talk) 07:39, 20 May 2012 (UTC)

I personally find your classification of 'fiction' as weak due to where it is published. As well as poetry, it is literature as well, and directed to the artist community. There is a Burroughs article where he descibes how he does his 'cut-and-paste' pieces. Surely not fiction. Shein describes an artistic performance, which I would think as appropriate for such a magazine. To me the article could be fiction, but could also be true. It certainly is plausable, which is where I'm coming from. Does being difficult to prove make it fictional?

One change that I think is warranted is this "Attempts to confirm aspects of the story have not succeeded. Isaacs Gallery founder Avrom Isaacs has stated in writing to Danny Devos that the story of John Fare "has no factual basis," adding "there was no such person as John Fare as far as I know."[10][11]" Only one attempt is offered, and that's the Isaac Gallery one. So does the previous sentence need changing to be singular or qualified by adding the other attempts if they exist. I've already talked about the Isaac Gallery issue re bad dates, but you have ignored them every time. See here for a day calculator and (talk) 08:36, 20 May 2012 (UTC) I forgot to add that the word 'embellish' is used to describe Craig's letter. Given that he writes as if he was the one who attended the performance, other words should be included to describe what the article truely is?Karakuri (talk) 08:40, 20 May 2012 (UTC)

I removed the sentence preceding the Isaacs statement. The date discrepancy has never been discussed in a published source and is irrelevant original research until it is. I have addressed this many times previously. I am not sure why you continue to ignore this. I have found no sources indicating any of it is true, and we have numerous sources claiming key details are false. If you have one, we can add it. If you want to call the Craig version an "appropriation" of Shein or "plagiarism" of Shein or "unattributed revision" of Shein, we can say some other descriptor instead of or in addition to embellishment. Jokestress (talk) 08:50, 20 May 2012 (UTC)

As you're the woman of words, I'll let you choose the additional word to attribute Craig. Re the date, although I mentioned it originally as 'my research', surely it can be treated as a verifiable fact, without the comparison the Shein? For example, if the Isaacs sentence mentioned that Devos tried to verify the alleged performance on Fri 17 Sep 1968, then it could be pointed out that 17 Sep 1968 is actually a Tuesday. Further, you mention 'truth' in your last response, you said earlier that a wiki article doesn't have to be true, just verifiable that it exists as an article.Karakuri (talk) 09:18, 20 May 2012 (UTC)

I said there are no sources that claim it's true. That's the threshold for inclusion. Verifiable sources. If you have a source that says it's true, we can add it. Whether I think it's true or not is irrelevant. We can only add what's been published. No one has commented about the dates, because no one found it important enough to write bout. Av Isaacs makes no mention of dates. He says there is no factual basis for any of it, so the dates claimed by either author are not relevant. The gallery owner said it never happened in his gallery, calling it a rumour that started when he presented some performance work. Jokestress (talk) 09:29, 20 May 2012 (UTC)

Because its mentioned in Craig's (and Shein's) article, I've added the comment that all performances were on a Friday amongst other such comments about Fare's supposed performance characteristics.Karakuri (talk) 10:03, 20 May 2012 (UTC) Further , I re-read Devos' article. He said that he inquired about 17 sep 1968. Av responds that there were mixed media performance in the late 60's, so a date range is mentioned. I also acknowledge that he says that he is not aware of John Fare. Karakuri (talk) 10:08, 20 May 2012 (UTC) I also think the date range is relavent. It's roughly 20 years since the supposed performance. If Av was looking up old records, i believe he was looking at 3 years later than when I believe the supposed performance happened.Karakuri (talk) 10:12, 20 May 2012 (UTC)

I'm pretty sure the dude would remember some guy cutting off his hand in his packed gallery till the day he died, without looking up records. I'm pretty sure there would have been some discussion about the incident with the press and police as well. The line about Fridays is fine because it is in the original materials. If you are trying to make a case that Isaacs is lying or forgetting or not looking in the right place, you'll need a reliable source for that kind of extraordinary claim. I think at this point all of your concerns are addressed. If you find a source that states Fare was real, we can always add it. All the reliable sources I could find indicate the whole thing is fiction. It has clearly captured the imaginations of a few people who want to keep the story alive and want to believe it might be true. Our goal here is to represent the sources, which have a clear consensus that this is a legend. Jokestress (talk) 10:23, 20 May 2012 (UTC)

Yes, I think I've gone about as far as I can go. I'll close on this comment. Shein's article is supposedly about her attending a performance, as incredible as it may seem. Whilst I believe it to be plausible (sadly, I never completed my robotics post grad course so i can't claim professional credentials), I'm also aware of performances using trickery, e.g. magicians. Maybe Shein reported on what she was led to believe, not what actually happened. If you can believe Graham Brown (I don't), Fare's ended his life by being beheaded in his last performance. There would have been uproar, a police investigation, lots of press - none are currently known to exist. Another example of a similar performance is that of Mike Parr, as mentioned in my blog. He cut off his arm whilst on stage. I guess many believed it to be real and may still probably still believe it based on what they saw. Unbeknown to most in the performance was that Parr only had one arm, and a fake meat one used as a prop that was cut off. If there is any truth to the Fare story, we have or about to run out of time to prove so.Karakuri (talk) 10:44, 20 May 2012 (UTC)

Before I get into the main point I want to put forward, I want to make a comment on the Isaacs response you offered above. After lunch with my daughter, she jumped on the computer to see my arguments. She trained as a sculptor and has been involved in a handful of exhibitions. She said that she never saw the gallery owners, as the deal was negotiated by the curator. During the exhibition, the artists themselves had to man the space and lock-up afterwards. Unless the gallery owner wanted to be there e.g. the artist was a notable, they would probably show up only on the opening night. Further, if hyperthetically the show was scheduled to go on and Isaacs knew that a hand was to be severed, I would strongly doubt that he would allow the show to start in the first place given the potential consequences.

Anyway, to my main point. I believe my inclusion of Shein's article has distracted or has the potential to distract from the Urban myth that it is. I tried earlier to remove all my input but you insisted, for some reason or another, to include the Shein reference. Whilst you've more than adequately found contemporary sources that the article exists, there is no such source to link it to this wiki entry, which is all about the SI story. I changed the status to Essay as the Wiki definition says that a short story is fictional. I changed it on the grounds there is no verifiable source that says that it is so, just your opinion. I read all of Wiki information on Literary Journals, which I believe ITG is, and essay covers the content. Even if written as a hoax, the information supposedly provides facts about an artists performance. If you had read it in its day I believe that's how you would interpret it. We now know otherwise, but there is no verifiable source to that effect. My article in my blog has already been ruled invalid by you by citing all the wiki rules e.g. Original research, No published, Only in a blog, not written by a notary person, and has a potential COI, and violates copyright. In my rapid learning curve on wiki rules, I believe you're absolutely right on all accounts. By removing the Shein reference we also remove the contentious words of 'embellished' and 'plagiarised' which has the potential to diminish the urban legend status that the SI article truely deserves. I'm trying to ensure that I do not put any doubt in anyone's mind that the John Fare story is nothing but hoax, an urban myth. Why don't you let me do that? I don't want anyone getting a glimmer of hope that there is any truth in the Fare story whatsoever. Karakuri (talk) 02:28, 22 May 2012 (UTC)

Speculation about Isaacs' level of involvement is not relevant. We can only report what's been published, and Isaacs, the owner of the gallery where this allegedly took place, says it is fiction. The Shein version is mentioned by contemporaries as the source, so it should be included. I did not add the word "plagiarized." I used the term "unattributed" after you said you would defer to my word choice. I replaced "essay" with "version" to avoid labeling this as some specific genre and to avoid assertions/implications that it is factual or fictional. The article currently describes the two key versions, opinions on its veracity, and subsequent works that refer to it or were influenced/inspired by it. There's no reason to remove the Shein version, since it's verifiably the source from which other versions have drawn. Jokestress (talk) 14:35, 22 May 2012 (UTC)

Ongoing concerns[edit]

There is no contemporary source that links or attributes the Shein / ITG article with the SI version that every other listed source has referenced. Further, I've even removed the attribution from my own web site.

You have only listed one contemporary source, and that is Boston's "The Press we Deserve". You also quote from that book "the recent detailed and quite horrifying account of John Fare's self-mutilation, reprinted from The Insect Trust Gazette." which to me says nothing to suggest it is a story. Further, in a book review of "The Press We Deserve" published in the Tribune Magazine 26th June 1970 it states that " It brings together a number of essayists who have some interesting things to say." .

When I gave you the choice of word to use, I did so because I wondered whether or not you would use one of the 'softer' words, rather than the more punishing 'plagiarised' . Its one thing to pretend something is yours, but Craig changes it to the extent that he was a witness to the event. I don't think 'unattributed' reflects that. When I remove the Shein reference, all that will be removed anyway.

In "The Coil Magazine", which is referenced as as source for Av Issac's response including a statement in writing that the story of John Fare "has no factual basis," adding "there was no such person as John Fare as far as I know."

There is also a second letter there (actually the initial letter) from Avrum Isaacs stating "All that I can remember is a bloody mess". I'm glad its not referenced as someone could construe it as an admission. Av at the time was still in business, so could be damning for his business. So the second letter is produced.

You mention "Speculation about Isaacs' level of involvement is not relevant." I was mearly responding to your comment "I'm pretty sure the dude would remember some guy cutting off his hand in his packed gallery till the day he died, without looking up records.", which is equally a speculation.

Can't you see why I want all my input removed? It will only open it up to live another life rather than be given a glimmer of hope by someone that it is true?

By removing Shein's reference, all the contentiousness I raise disappears.

I've left my keypoint to last, as addressing this single issue, I believe, will resolve the rest.

There is no contemporary source that links or attributes the Shein / ITG article with the SI version that every other listed source has referenced. Further, I've even removed the attribution from my own web site. I can't find a Wiki rule that supports its inclusion. There is not one bit of evidence or reference out there that attributes to the Shein version, despite its now known existence.Karakuri (talk) 01:30, 23 May 2012 (UTC)

Once you submit materials to Wikipedia, the decision to keep it falls to our editorial policies. This is an article on John Fare. The Shein piece should be included because it is about John Fare. The Craig piece should be included because it is about John Fare. It doesn't matter if they are linked. It's clear that Craig borrowed heavily from Shein without attribution and made it a first-person narrative. We can state that as an easily observable fact.
Richard Boston is an essayist, as noted in the review. I don't think there's any benefit to assigning a genre to Shein's version. Nothing else appears to have been authored under the name N.B. Shein.
We can summarize or quote the Coil letters in the article. The first sarcastic letter says: "I am afraid so much time has elapsed since the 'performance' of John Fare that we have no documentation of it. All I remember is that it was a bloody mess." The follow-up letter says "I'm afraid I was 'sending you up'. I know of no such person as John Fare. In the sixties I had a series of mixed media concerts in my gallery, and out of this came the myth of John Fare. Every five years or so, someone rediscovers the myth and writes me a letter such as yours." I added a quote from the second one.
Shein needs to stay, as it's a published, verifiable reliable source mentioned by other published, verifiable reliable sources. We can't worry about whether people might hope it's true. We can only present the facts in a clear, neutral summary. Jokestress (talk) 07:22, 23 May 2012 (UTC)
I accept what you say about retaining the Shein reference based on the Wiki guidelines. I shall not attempt any further additions, modifications, or deletions, you have my word on that. With that in mind , just some comments and suggestions to you and your response.
You say "Richard Boston is an essayist, as noted in the review." . He may well be, but Boston is the editor of the book, and all the contributors are essayists as stated in the review. Further, the Shein article is not reproduced in the book, just the simple mention that we have both seen, no more.
If you choose to re-instate 'short story', I've already given my word I will not change or delete it.
Earlier on I put the case forward that the date discrepancy re Tuesday vs. Friday, should be mentioned. I'm not suggesting that it be included, just wanting to know why it could not have been stated as an easily observable fact?
re the Av Isaacs letters in the Coil magazine, My copy is poor or you've got very good eyes. Would you be able to tell me those dates and to whom they were sent to please? I'm interested to know if it were to a Coil member or one of the magazine publishers.
Re the Av Isaacs quotations, I was using that as an example of deception by only selectively quoting part of the letter.
On the Devos letter, you never responded about the dates that were actually mentioned (see above).
In my blog I reference another article on Fare that I think you, in particular, would find interesting and may want to include it. This is what I say- "A recent article by Clair West (2007) goes further to suggest that John Fare, later known as JC Fare, was actually Jeanne Charlotte Fare. West's references to his/her school are unfortunately no longer online, or not easily verifiable. Further, refering to femme biker "Golni Czervath" as the cyberneticist is a new, unsubstantiated piece of information, as is the band "Congical Rights", and an unobtainable magazine reference i.e. Vazeeleen. As such West only adds further mystery to the story, and maybe her's is the hoax! So real, obtainable, verifiable evidence is required if West's variations are to be believed. " and here's the link .
Also, I feel that the initial Fare description in this Wiki is weak and potentially misleading if that's all one saw. As a suggestion, it should read something like " a fictional performance artist whose latter performances were the removal of his various body parts by robotic surgery. His final act was allegedly suicide by decapitation onstage. The story originated in 1968 and is generally considered an urban legend.". You may be a privileged editor and have authority to edit it. Karakuri (talk) 13:57, 23 May 2012 (UTC)
The letters in the Coil publication are to John Sanders. The one that's dated is from 4 January 1986. The Friday/Tuesday date issue is a trivial discrepancy that doesn't seem relevant to me, but if you propose specific language about what it should say, we can discuss it. The Clair West piece looks self-published and thus unacceptable. I'll expand the opening description a bit per your suggestion. Jokestress (talk) 19:03, 23 May 2012 (UTC)
I think the opening description reads much better, don't you?
Anything from here on, from my point of view, is not a request for a change, addition, or deletion. That is totally up to you. It is commentary on aspects of this Talk that I feel still needs a point to be made.
Thank you in providing the information of the letters published in Coil magazine. With regards to the date, it is to help the poor souls who strive to find evidence about the supposed performance date. I know you can't say 1965, but knowing the date is wrong would lead someone to see if it has any significance. I'm not asking for it to be entered, just making the point to you.
With regard to the Isaacs letters from both sources, they are presented as is. There is no commentary from either recipient that they accepted these artifacts as proof of non existance. That is left to the reader. I also think they went to Av in the first instance to see whether or not the performance happened. There's no hint of "Hi Av, please show me the evidence that proves the event never existed." The way they are presented is totally neutral. To me, and I know the Wiki rules don't support it, for you to say the first response from Av in the Coil mag as 'a sarcastic response' (in Talk only) presumes taking a position that that's all it could be. I prefer the objective approach where each piece of evidence can be analysed and arguments either way can be seen. But, by definition, that's research. Of course the probability of the statement being true would be the Wiki way i.e. a consensus view. Overall, I understand that that's totally unsuitable for an Encyclopaedic entry, particularly under the Wiki rules. Consensus says its a hoax, so it is; no use arguing, so I won't any more. If I still feel strongly over this, I'll restore my deleted sections of my blog page (although blog software, it was the easiest tool for me at the time to bend it to be used as a web site. It is page and category driven, of which the latest additions show in the blog interface) and add an objective approach to the evidence being presented. Being a bit of a devil's advocate, really.
So I've learnt a lot about Wiki, its rules, and the nature of Encyclopaedic knowledge. It doesn't suit what I do so it's not for me.Karakuri (talk) 02:51, 24 May 2012 (UTC)
I appreciate your patience, as I know there are a lot of rules that don't make sense when you first participate. I hope you feel the article is improved from where it was previously. I think it's much better, and I often find that these discussions result in a better article in the end. Wikipedia is best on obscure topics of limited interest, I think. Not a lot of people will read this article, but those who do now have a good summary and links to where they can learn more. Thanks for your questions and challenges, as they have led to a stronger article. Jokestress (talk) 05:15, 24 May 2012 (UTC)

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