Thursday, June 22, 2017

Paul Zukofsky, Prodigy Who Became, Uneasily, a Virtuoso Violinist, Dies at 73; New York Times, June 20, 2017

Margalit Fox, New York Times; Paul Zukofsky, Prodigy Who Became, Uneasily, a Virtuoso Violinist, Dies at 73

"He was also known to literary scholars as an ardent defender — too ardent, some said — of the intellectual property of his father, the American poet Louis Zukofsky...

Such behavior also colored Mr. Zukofsky’s guardianship of his father’s copyright. He denied some scholars the right to quote from Louis Zukofsky’s writings altogether. He granted others permission in exchange for payment — an unorthodox demand.

“I don’t think Paul knew anything at all about the academic world,” Mr. Quartermain said. “He was convinced that we were all busy making money on his father’s writings.”

In 2009, in an act that engendered astonishment and rage among scholars, Mr. Zukofsky escalated prevailing tensions by posting a manifesto on Z-site, the official online companion to Louis Zukofsky’s work. His manifesto — since removed — included these provisions:

• “You may not use LZ’s words as you see fit, as if you owned them, while you hide behind the rubric of ‘fair use.’ ”

• “For your own well-being, I urge you to not work on Louis Zukofsky, and prefer that you do not. Working on LZ will be far more trouble than it is worth.”

• “One line you may not cross i.e. never never ever tell me that your work is to be valued by me because it promotes my father. Doing that will earn my lifelong permanent enmity.”

Mr. Zukofsky made securing permission to quote his father so difficult, Mr. Quartermain said, that “I know of people who simply gave up” on Louis Zukofsky scholarship, “and one or two people who gave up on their academic careers, because they could not get anywhere: They’d done their Ph.D.’s and they wanted to publish, but they’d somehow offended Paul.”"

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