September 12, 2012

"Reading my testimony, anyone would get an idea that the person testifying is of a disordered mind."

Said Ira B. Arnstein, the crank, noodnik, and loser, who "for more than three decades he persistently sued the likes of Irving Berlin and Cole Porter, their publishers and their rights organizations for plagiarizing his own ditties."
[Judge Jerome] Frank went so far as to invoke Jonathan Swift and Friedrich Nietzsche in warning against creating a bad precedent "merely because we may think Arnstein is nutty."
The book reviewed at the link is "Unfair to Genius."


ricpic said...

Nietzsche on Tin Pan Alley: Wagner wasn't kitschy enough? I can't get any Olympian thoughts going with those hack banalities in my ears. Turn off the Telefunken, Elisabeth!

Richard Dolan said...

This sounds like a delightful book, populated by interesting and occasionally zany characters. As with most legal doctrines, a page of history is more elucidating than the abstractions in which the doctrine is usually expounded.