Banner photo of Larry Eugene Meredith, Patrick Flynn and Ronald Tipton, 2016.

The good times are memories
In the drinking of elder men...

-- Larry E.
Time II

Monday, May 31, 2010

Fame, Fortune and Anonymity


It was never for the money or the fame, so I guess you could say I was a great success.

Well, the first half of that statement isn't completely true, certainly not as much as the second half. At one time I did think about both fame and fortune coming from the simple act of placing words on paper.

I thought about the money as a teenager. I can't say I great literary ambitions at the time. My goal was to be a hack or maybe a pulp writer. I just wrote my O. Henry twist ending crime storis and my Twilight Zone inspired horror tales with hope some little back rack magazine might publish them.

This wasn't a reflection on the writers I read as a kid. Some of them were very good scrivers. I think a guy could have worse examples than Robert Louis Stevenson, Edgar Allan Poe or Jack London. Even Evan Hunter, H. P. Lovecraft and Charles Beaumont were worthy inspiration.

When I hit my twenties the idea of fame kicked in for a while. Ernest Hemingway committed suicide less than a week after I turned twenty. His face and name had been common throughout my boyhood. A year before a book appeared that I could identify with called, "Rabbit Run" by an author who had grown up not far from me name John Updike. Another author was being spoke of often, even being in the line of a "Flower Drum Song" lyric was Truman Capote. A year after I turned twenty, John Stinebeck won the Nobel Prize. Suddenly writers seemed to be public celebrities to me. Getting interviewed by magazines and newspapers for your opinion on everything sounded pretty cool. (Getting in those pages for suicide not so much, but anyway...)

But anyway, I was starting to get paid to do some writing. Not a lot of money, not enough to live on, and ironically not in a way to become famous either. I was ghostwriting. Everything I penned went out under someone else's name. Then when I did get to do it for myself it was still under a non de plume.

It started to cross my mind that was all right, not a bad idea. I was young, remember, and I could dream big. I could think in my mind that I could become well-known and being well-known by another name might be best.

A novel came out around this time called V that was causing a stir in lierary circles. A even bigger stir was in the media about the mysterious author, who was secretive about himself to the point he did even have a photo on the dusk jacket. I kind of liked that idea. he had used his real name, though, Thomas Pynchon.

I didn't do anything about it. I had been writing in the Underground Press as Eugene Lawrence and elsewhere as Loop, but in a few years when I started to be published regularly in main street media it was under my real name. Not just my real name, my whole name.

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