Has got to be the Pseudo-Aristotle: He thought and wrote so well, people thought it was Aristotle—and thought that way for centuries, back when Aristotle was still a big name in the philosophy racket. Pseudo-Aristotle (whoever he was) gave away his product and renown to a dead guy who already had plenty of both.
“I realized I fucked up signing Aristotle’s name to the frontispiece when I saw people actually believing it was Aristotle’s, and not this thing I had pulled out of my ass. By then it was too late—I couldn’t convince anyone that I had written it. People just give me that look that says ‘You?! Sydney Applebaum?* You talk like a trooper!’
“Nor can I repeat the performance. My pseudo-Plato material fell flat when I tried to publish under my own name.
“But I tell ya folks, when I was writing The Rhetoric to Alexander, I actually felt like Aristotle, like I was Aristotle! It was quite a rush, except for the appeal to logos part…”
MANDATORY CORNY REFLECTIONS TO WRAP UP AND PURPORTEDLY JUSTIFY PRECEEDING VERBAGE:
Are we not all Pseudo-Aristotles?
A: uh No…. totally doesn’t apply to my or anyone else’s situation–in fact, it’s hard to think of anyone who’s less like a metaphor of the human condition than Pseudo-Aristotle, even as portrayed above based on limited documents (i.e., no documents).
AND NOW THE FACTUAL BUZZ-KILL FROM WIKIPEDIA:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pseudo-Aristotle: SAYS: there were many pseudo-Aristotle’s, not just one, and people were always a little wise to the counterfeiting rings within the larger philosophy gangs that otherwise just extorted people’s minds for bad ideas and deficient lifestyles.
So the joke’s a bust—it’s all been ruined by the facts. I only post it because I’ve developed severe Delete Phobia.
*Sydney Applebaum as a truly famous guy (destined to overshadow Napoleon!) is a running gag from Woody Allen’s Love and Death.
© 2012, Alan Brech