As a result of the memoir below concerning Peter Duesberg, Budd Colby, interferon and the earliest days of biotechnology, Peter was intrigued enough to do something that borders on the unbelievable, ie. undertake an Internet search using something other than PubMed, and he sent me these URLs [1, 2] that concern our old friend Dr. Colby.
The renewed connection with Mathilde Krim in the first is worth a raised eyebrow, but the other, the Horse Therapy link, put me in mind of The Horse that Ed Dorn made mythical in his modern epic, Gunslinger, because I have a vivid memory of reading Book I aloud to Timotha, and Budd and Diane in their kitchen at Storrs in 1970 shortly after it appeared, and Budd and Diane 'flipping out" as we used to say.
[A photograph of the young molecular biologists at their Tilden Park nuptials in 1968 that was taken by the artist, Dorothy Rubin, wife of National Academy member, and noted cancer biologist, Harry - with whom Budd was a postdoctoral fellow - is located here. Budd and Diane appear at the far left. Some reading this will recognize the caped figure who performed part of their wedding ceremony, as well perhaps the seated gentleman on the extreme right.]
When I opened my copy of Book I to read once again, I discovered the letter to the editor of the Boston Phoenix that is reproduced below -- some of whose precursors are contained in this comment by Charles Stein to "The Moore Manifesto".
Since the Cornell Med. professor with nothing else to do has recently been attempting to libelously alter my biographical page at the Wikipedia using a pseudonym or a pseudonymous stooge, the conjunction seems too rich not to "post" early on what promises to be a beautiful Easter Sunday - as almost all domingos are in the "Paradise of Eternal Spring", as Cuernavaca is known throughout the civilized world.
Who Are You?
Mr. Castaneda's circumspect non-denial (Phoenix, April 19) of his correspondence with Mr. Bialy (Phoenix, April 12), brings to mind the funnel vision of poetic fiction, the prisms of fiction stretched outward to accommodate an expanding field of truths. In this regard, an analysis of the correspondence to date (we may expect more), in conjunction with a study of C. H. Kresge's excellent "Style and Contradiction; Contradiction of Style" (University of Missouri Press, Columbia, Missouri, 1969), provokes specific conclusions -- Mr. Castaneda in fact does not exist, certainly not as the correspondent in The Phoenix nor as the author of "The Teachings of Don Juan." (The possibility remains that he is the writer of Don Juan's "night letter" in the April 12 Phoenix; relative unfamiliarity with Spanish prevents any certainty here.)
A long-held suspicion of mine, encouraged by the Phoenix exchanges, is that Don Juan is the author of "Carlos Castaneda." As proof of this, in accordance with Don Juan's own teachings, we may expect no response, no confirmation, denial or non-denial, to this statement from Don Juan himself, although "Castaneda" or Bialy might well react to it using the Don Juan, John Oglesby or some other alias. Castaneda's protestations to the contrary, it is not Mr. Bialy's existence that is at stake here. Castaneda's response of April 12 is of course Bialy's; the style proclaims this fact, and indeed, no one else could legitimately arrive at the intimate although erroneous speculation of Mr. Bialy's nonexistence. Rather, he exists several times; I believe there are several Harvey Bialys -- the poets of Babylon, Blood, Caterpillar, Chicago Review, etcetera are Harvey Bialy; the correspondents to The Phoenix are Harvey Bialy; the book reviewers of "Don Juan" are Bialy (for another review of both Castaneda books by himself and in which he shows the books to be "chemical circle linear/perplex", see Stasis, Spring 1972, V2, n.1).
However, as Kresge's examination of style proves conclusively, these are not, and cannot be, the same Harvey Bialy. Whether any of them have any connection with a Berkeley chemist of the same name is at this point speculative. It occurs to me that a reader might be tempted to conclude that I, too, am Harvey Bialy. I must admit that Bialy has written this very letter, differently, in the past; has seen that I would write this letter now. I do not believe that I am Bialy, even one of many Bialys, yet how do I say so? A confirmation or denial might indicate that I am indeed he, a "self-revelatory" non-confirmation or non-denial that I am Castaneda, a total lack of response that I am somehow associated with Don Juan. None of the above is true, but my position is awkward.
In closing, a short "warning" to all the gentlemen involved, however many you may be -- The imitators are spawning. You cannot, you must, believe anything they say. Yours most sincerely, Richard Tulman, Dorchester
Harvey Bialy is the founding scientific editor of Nature Biotechnology, and the editor of "You Bet Your Life".