Looking for Mabel
There are very few of us who have not at one time or another come across Fergus Gwynplaine MacIntyre alias Paul Grant Jeffery, Timothy/Tim C. Allen, Oleg V. Bredikhine, with the nickname Froggy. Five or six years ago, I remember emailing him after reading on IMDb that he had seen “The Slim Princess.” He wrote back that he saw it in
It was not just his lying about seeing “The Slim Princess” but as the film historian, William M. Drew pointed out it wasn’t just the hoax he played on me but “he derived his sense of importance by exploiting the credibility of the whole silent film community in telling of seeing movies supposedly lost --part of a pattern, not just hoaxing in general, but specifically early cinema”. He exploited the void in our knowledge caused by both the loss of many films and the existing un-named ones in archives, including “Upstream”, the John Ford film found in
He enjoyed playing games on people, but in reality he was as cruel to himself as he was to others, living in a dark and ugly fantasy world which was mirrored in his own foul apartment. As part of our culture we are told not to speak ill of the dead but it is hard not to do so with regard to Gwynplaine.
The squalid hole he lived in was full of trash, he had rented
In MacIntyre's novel, The Woman Between The Worlds, (Dell Trade Paperback, 1994), an invisible woman asks the protagonist to tattoo her entire body so she can become visible. The neighbor’s recollection of the spray-painting seems a horrific echo of something the author first dreamed up in fiction.
MacIntyre was a very good writer although his science-fiction worlds were dark and in the past few years had been going downhill. Darrell Schweitzer, MacIntyre’s editor and agent explained that MacIntyre’s “boastful nature and clever stories were gone,”…“and he began telling pathetic stories about terrible things that happened to him, like pleas for sympathy.”
Recently the Theda Bara documentary, “The Woman with the Hungry Eyes” was screened at the Silent Movie Theatre on
His life was as strange as one of his dark, angry short stories. His death on
Bud Webster, a fellow science-fiction writer, noted “Among the science-fiction and online community, he was accepted and praised and feted,” he said. “He wasn’t a creepy old guy who lived in a rotten apartment.” Much of MacIntyre’s life was lived in a small room behind locked doors.
He described its rubbish a repository of artifacts both profound and perverted; stuffed with decades of work and waste as “the fragments of time that other people throw away.”
This life of collecting trash and treasure became the tinderbox of papers that fueled the fire that engulf him. “He would like to present himself as an English clubman, an eccentric more at home in the 19th century, MacIntyre was a large robust red haired, 6-foot-3 man, the name Gwynplaine came from the smiling but unhappy character in Victor Hugo’s “The Man Who Laughs.”
He sent out farewell e-mails on June 24, 2010 stating that he was extremely depressed and moving to Australia and might not be heard from again, with a quotation — “I am just going outside and may be some time” — this was the last words of the English Antarctic explorer, Titus Oates in 1912, who wandered out into a blizzard to die. He closed with “Straight on till mourning” the directions to Peter Pan’s Neverland. The day before the fire, he posted on IMDb what he promised would be his last review of the movie “Metropolis”: “Nitrate film stock doesn’t last forever,”…” and all good things come to a happy ending.” He made arrangements for copyrights and future royalties to be forwarded to one of his publishers.
When the e-mail was received someone understood the meaning and called 911. MacIntyre was taken to
At about on
It took a five-man crew two full days to fill a 20-yard trash bin with Froggy’s “fragments of time.”
IMDb - F. Gwynplaine MacIntyre
New York Times, September 15, 2010, Corey Kilgannon, "Remembrabces of the Enigmatic Froggy"
New York Times, September 10, 2010, Corey Kilgannon, "Froggy's Last Story."
WIKIPEDIA - F. Gwynplaine MacIntyre
The email’s that Gwynplaine sent out before he killed himself were found the Black Gate website.
From: F. Gwynplaine MacIntyre
Hello, folks. Auf wiedersehen, folks. I'll be gafiating for a year or so.
A medical problem that has caused me no end of inconvenience my entire life (caused by a minor typo in my DNA) has finally compelled my full priorities, so I'm taking a year off from writing and public activities in order to deal with it.
I've no doubt whatever that the world will get on just fine without my participation.
I'll be recuperating near Frog Rock, Borroloola, in
Subject: One idiot ruins everything
From: F. Gwynplaine MacIntyre
Thanks to all for the kind wishes. (Memo to Dave Nicholas: Aye, please call me Froggy.) (Memo to Susan Shwartz: It's spelt 'Froggy', not 'Froggie'.)
I'm humbled by all this good will, but just now I'm in no mood to savor it.
I had hoped to make a graceful departure into gafiation for six months or a year while I attend to medical problems. In making my departure, I directed attention to the biography page on my website ... not for the sake of my bio, but in the hope that members would read the material preceding it on the same page.
Basically, I noted that any person’s privacy is even more sacred than that same person’s life, since life is only temporary and therefore only temporarily in jeopardy. Privacy is forever in jeopardy. An individual’s privacy requires and deserves protection both during that life and afterwards, forever.
No sooner did I post my gafiation than one self-righteous idiot who reads these boards (yet who didn’t read my bio essay) decided to send police to my
Of course my life is in danger. We’re all of us mortal. Prolonging your survival is merely forestalling your death. My eventual death is a certainty. It’s my privacy that I mean to preserve.
I am not now at my
As a result of one self-righteous busybody on the SFF.net site, the NYPD broke into my
He remains traumatized. If a suicide does occur in my apartment, I will consider suing the idiot on the SFF.net site who called the police.
Doubtless, the idiot will plead that he thought he was doing the right thing, life at stake, blahblah.
Only fools and cowards value their lives more highly than their privacy. Only scoundrels value their own privacy more highly than another person’s life.
The stinking idiot on this site who violated my privacy has now also endangered the mental stability and possibly the life of my house-sitter, a deeply neurotic but virtuous individual. He also made the NYPD break my front door.
I’m too busy just now to consider a privacy-violation lawsuit, but I won’t tolerate a repeat of this.
I haven't time for this stuff just now.