Telling Tales: A History of Literary Hoaxes

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Well my library has a similar rule although we can renew it three times but for some reason it's just let me keep going. I've checked on-site and online and it just keeps smiling at me, so…. I do enjoy this meme! I got so excited at the end of April knowing it was nearly time for a new pick! True story. I did a little actually.. I'm an old gfc follower of yours.

I'm with Hannah, still haven't read my pick from last month. I think as soon as I have to read something I do everythign I can to not read it. Good thing I'm not still at school!

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Your email address will not be published. There is a whole taxonomy of authorial falsification, from ghostwriters and noms de plume to plagiarism and forgery, and within each species there are moral boundaries. Dixon, whose name is on the cover of the Hardy Boys detective stories, did not exist, and that the books were written by a series of contract writers. Well, as an early devotee and binge reader of the Hardy Boys books, I was a little crushed when I learned this. Pen names are accepted in genre fiction: Saki, O. Henry, Amanda Cross.

They are understood to belong to the package, to be part of the entertainment. Readers are not being tricked.

Mary Anne Evans was trying to trick readers by pretending to be a male author named George Eliot. But many women writers have adopted male names, and some still do, or use initials to go gender-neutral. Hoaxes have played a role in literary history. Probably the most famous hoax in English literature is an epic cycle about a warrior named Fingal, published in the seventeen-sixties. This was advertised as translations of poems written by a third-century Gaelic bard named Ossian. In fact, the poems were fakes, cooked up by a Scottish writer named James Macpherson.

Miller says it may have sold five million copies. Which is a strange alibi. The name on the cover is not that of the person who wrote the contents—the name on the cover is deliberately misleading—and the reader has no way of knowing it. Miller examines several types of hoaxes. There are literary impersonations, in which the author assumes the racial or ethnic identity of someone else. These are usually memoirs, autofictions, or books that pretend to speak for the group to which the fake author is assumed to belong.

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Miller calls these intercultural hoaxes. Miller calls these Trojan Horses. And there are hoaxes aimed at exposing the poor judgment of editors, critics, or readers. He calls these time bombs. Why do people go to the trouble of creating intercultural hoaxes? The hoaxer has cultural capital.

Telling tales : a history of literary hoaxes / by Melissa Katsoulis - Details - Trove

He or she is already a writer, someone who understands how the publishing world works. The marginalized or exotic subjects they pretend to be have cultural capital, too, in the sense that people want to buy their books and read their stories. But they have fewer means with which to cash out that capital. So the hoaxer steps in. In an intercultural hoax, therefore, the hoaxer is often white and the fake persona is often a person of color.

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The novel was critically acclaimed, and the hoax survived for about seventeen months. Dunne and his wife, Joan Didion , knew James, and were in on the hoax. The agent never met or spoke to the author. It was understood that he did not have a telephone, and his return address was a post-office box. No one there had met or talked to Danny Santiago, either. What matters is the contents.

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It was true that he was not a Chicano, but neither was he a stranger to the barrio. At the time, Latino writers were divided.

THIS AUTHOR IS A FRAUD // Go Ask Alice by "Anonymous"

None had suspected that the novel was by an Anglo writer. Dunne says he had tried to persuade James not to use the pseudonym, but concluded that James was blocked as a writer he was a playwright who had been notably unsuccessful getting his work produced , and that assuming a new identity was liberating for him. Chato, the narrator, wants to escape from the barrio.

He laments the eventual destruction of his neighborhood displaced by a Southern Pacific rail yard , but he also makes fun of his relatives for their adherence to premodern Mexican ways. North Africa specialists were as fooled as anyone else. This is a danger often confronted by successful hoaxers. At some point, there is a demand to produce a body. It is an anti-multicultural book. When the hoax was revealed, it turned out to be a time bomb, too.

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The book was praised by critics who knew something about Native American culture, sold at gift shops on Indian reservations, and taught in high schools and colleges. I mean, a wig, makeup, and sunglasses? It sounds like a costume that Bugs Bunny would wear to fool Elmer Fudd into thinking he was a beautiful woman! But in real life, it worked. That makes my heart explode with joy and wonder. What an outlaw, you know? Rather, she was a Brooklyn-born writer who was a good 15 years older than LeRoy claimed to be. Cue gasping and outrage from the masses, and lots of conflicting feelings from me.

Fuck that. Laura Albert used a marginalized identity to serve herself. That part makes me ill. We have to then wonder about what constitutes real here.