Two Joes and a Jill

Here’s the link to my latest article:

It begins: On December 12, 1942, “The New Yorker” published a 7000-word profile, entitled “Professor Seagull,” by Joseph Mitchell. The subject was Joe Gould, a 53-year-old Greenwich Village eccentric, who was said to be writing an “Oral History of Our Times,” consisting of a record of conversations he had overheard over the last decades and essays related to these conversations. It was, Gould claimed, several times the length of the Bible and, most likely, the longest book ever written. However, having learned that the Metropolitan Museum had stored its most valuable holdings into a bombproof shelter for the duration of the war, Gould had placed his history in the stone cellar of a chicken and duck farm on Long Island, owned by a woman who was out of the state, making it unavailable for Mitchell to read.