Monday, July 15, 2013

History of A.D. Harvey

The Guardian shows that what "independent historian" A.D Harvey has done in his career is deceptive and unethical and transgresses against the canon of transparent, testable scholarship.

Have to admit, too, some of it -- plagiaring himself under a pseudonym, inventing new personalities for every essay, inventing the Dickens-Dostoyevsky conversations -- does sound like kinda fun.
Harvey, who is 65, was born in Colchester just after the second world war. His mother was a Jew from Hungary who had fled from the Nazis; his father was a lumberjack – the Essex, rather than Canadian, variety.
 Okay, that sounds invented too. But even as A.D. Harvey, he works at it.

Update, July 2, 2014:   A note from A.D. Harvey reasonably rebukes me for my scepticism about his father's career:
Re your blog-posting about me last year: THE GUARDIAN journalist, being a journalist, misrepresented what I said about my mother.She was a Jew from Budapest (born in Transylvania!) and came to England in the autumn of 1939 when the Horthy regime in Hungary adopted Nazi-style legislation excluding the Jews from citizens" rights: she came on a passport of which the validity had been retrospectively curtailed to a few weeks by the new anti-Jewish legislation. She was not therefore a refugee from German Nazism, but from Hungarian anti-semitism, though her mother and sister were, in 1944, sent by the Germans to a collection centre for deportation but then released.
But my father really was a lumberjack! Possibly not many people in Canada know that they have trees in Britain too! He actually grew up on the edge of what in southern England passes as a large wood. The people who cut down the trees in such places now designate themselves as "tree surgeons"  (yes, really!) but I don"t think that fairly describes my father, as I have seen him pull down an old tree by chaining it to a tractor, and on one occasion, when he had sent his workmen off to the pub, he managed to cut down a tree so that it twisted in falling and pinned him to the ground, where he was found two hours later by his employees when they returned to work. That doesn"t at all sound like "surgery" does it?The large logging gangs with several haulage vehicles which  I suppose are characteristic of North American forests do not of course exist in southern England: on the other hand the oaks and elms he cut down with an axe (chain saws just coming in here in those days) would be considered large trees in most of Canada.
The link below, concerning recent developments in the Times Literary Supplement versus A.D.Harvey, may be of interest.

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