Shostakovich’s Testimony
Posted: 25 October 2011 01:32 AM   [ Ignore ]
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I was wondering if you have considered the addition of Shostakovich’s Testimony, an apocryphal biography by the classical composer published in 1979 and still in print, to your museum.

It was published by Random House after supposed authentication, but the composer’s memoirs were returned to the typist who put them in a Swiss vault and then sold them to a private party. Seven pages of the memoirs are signed by the composer in photocopies, but within a year of the book’s publication, a musicologist discovered those pages consisted entirely of material published in the Soviet Union prior to the composer’s death. The rest of the book diverges in tone, supposedly recasting the composer as a dissident. The pagination is inconsistent, and the work has never been published in the original Russian. A forgery could be accomplished by inserting pages between others signed by the composer.

The book has its ardent defenders, but the authenticity is incredibly dubious, and an entire book has been published to discuss the forgery, and it is not accepted as authentic by the majority of reputable musicologists. With the original typescript so conveniently unavailable for authentication, the whole thing screams hoax.

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Posted: 16 November 2011 10:20 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]
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I’ll have to look into this. Thanks for the tip! Though if you have any desire to write something up about it, I’d be happy to post what you write… because, honestly, I’ve got a huge backpile of hoaxes to research and post, so it’ll probably be a looooonng time before I get around to it.

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