RDA-L RE: Dead man writing: spirit, fictitious person or

Posting to RDA-L

On 7/2/2014 9:45 PM, Wilson, Pete wrote:

James: I don’t see that this has to be an either-or situation. The actual author of the book can be represented with a new authorized access point specifically for him- or herself writing under the Walter Benjamin pseudonym, while at the same time an additional access point can be made for the real Walter Benjamin, with explanation in a relationship designator or a note. This would mean that the book would always be retrieved by a search for the real Walter Benjamin. (Some kinds of searches for the real Walter Benjamin could miss the book if the pseudonym heading were the only name access point.) I think that is a positive. I can’t see why any impediment should be made to retrieving this book by searching for the real Walter Benjamin.

I can go along with that. I admit that I still have qualms with adding a 7xx access point for someone who has absolutely zero input into the intellectual creation of a work. Here is an example. If the author’s name did not appear, should the cataloger conclude that Obama wrote this? What would the public think if catalogers concluded that he actually wrote this? What would Obama think?

Or if Mark Twain’s name did not appear on this article, should we make Tsar Nicholas II the main entry? http://www.unz.org/Pub/NorthAmericanRev-1905mar-00321

Or another example from Twain about King Leopold in the Congo? https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/King_Leopold%27s_Soliloquy

In these cases, it would be best (I think) to add:
600 10 [name]–Humor.

although I doubt if some of these people would have seen where the humor was!

Still, at least in these cases, all are (were) alive at the time of writing and it is possible that they could have been the authors. But if it is impossible?

And yet, there is the example of the festschrifts as someone point out, so I think: what the heck, I could add them all in as related authors–even though they weren’t in any way and–in the cases of the kings–would probably have done something quite awful to the real authors if they had been able to get their hands on them. There still needs to be a very clear note. (And yes, I understand that in this world of linked data where our traditional records will be diced and sliced and shared in all kinds of ways, there is the danger that the note may be separated from the access point. Well, that’s regrettable, but that is no reason to not add the note)

But aside from this, I still say it is vital for the catalog record to tell the truth and distinguish bibliographic identities that are clearly impossible, such as dead people writing new books.