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Literature/Language
The Sydney Morning Herald reports that Peter Carey is writing a novel about the Ern Malley hoax. It'll be titled My Life As A Fake. Ern Malley was the name of a poet who wowed Australia's Modernist literary establishment back in the 1940s. Trouble was, he was just a fictitious character invented as a prank by some anti-Modernists. Details here.
Categories: Literature/Language
Posted by Alex on Tue Jun 10, 2003
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An article in the magazine Syllabus is discovered to have been plagiarized. The topic of the article was plagiarism.
Categories: Literature/Language
Posted by Alex on Thu Jun 05, 2003
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I recently spent some time reading the Amazon book reviews of Henry Raddick. If you're unfamiliar with this reviewer, you should definitely take the time to acquaint yourself with his work. Rumor has it that Raddick is actually a pseudonym for none other than Prince Charles, a rumor which the Prince vociferously denies. Last year Raddick, or whoever he really is, was involved in a more outright hoax: impersonating Andrew Lloyd Webber on Amazon. Unfortunately, all of Raddick's reviews as Webber have been yanked by Amazon, though the Register has managed to resurrect a few of them.
Categories: Literature/Language
Posted by Alex on Mon Oct 07, 2002
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The Independent remembers the "tall tale of Little Tree and the Cherokee who was really a Klansman." A puzzling literary hoax which raises the classic question which always hovers around literary and artistic hoaxes: does it matter if it's a hoax if people enjoy it?
Categories: Literature/Language
Posted by Alex on Mon Sep 02, 2002
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The Sunday Telegraph writes about a recent, literary hoax: the case of Michael "Gambino" Pellegrino, a man who conned Simon and Schuster out of $500,000 by posing as a mafia mobster and selling them a story based on his life experience. It turned out that he was a crook, but was no mobster. (Requires Registration)
Categories: Con Artists, Literature/Language
Posted by Alex on Mon Sep 02, 2002
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Robert Wiemer, one of the 25 authors of the 'Naked Came the Stranger' literary hoax from 1969, died yesterday. He was better known as an editorial writer for Newsday.

Naked Came the Stranger was a novel that was designed to test just how low the standards of taste of the American public had sunk. 25 Newsday staff members each wrote a chapter of this novel. Their only requirements were that their chapters could contain no plot or character development, no social insight, and no verbal skill. Only one thing was required: a minimum of two sex scenes per chapter.

The resulting novel was attributed to a fictitious author (Penelope Ashe), who was played by the attractive sister-in-law of Mike McGrady, the columnist who conceived the idea for the hoax. McGrady's sister-in-law played her role to the fullest, appearing in interviews wearing low-cut dresses and bubbling about the joys of sexual liberation. The American public predictably ate it up and sales of the book soared. The Newsday writers eventually began to feel guilty about all the money they were receiving from the farce, and confessed. But the resulting publicity only made the book sell even better.
Categories: Literature/Language
Posted by Alex on Thu Jul 25, 2002
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Great article in the National Post about the role of ghostwriters in the writing of "autobiographies." Often ghostwriters will invent the lives of their subjects out of whole cloth... And many celebrities never read the autobiographies which they've supposedly written. As the article says, "If the nominal author of a memoir says, 'I want to thank the devoted and talented Ms. Holly Ryle for her expert editorial assistance,' that probably means she wrote every word."
Categories: Literature/Language
Posted by Alex on Mon Jul 22, 2002
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Apparently Chinese fans love the new Harry Potter novel: Harry Potter and Leopard-Walk-Up-To-Dragon. I can't wait for it to come out in English.
Categories: Literature/Language
Posted by Alex on Fri Jul 12, 2002
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Be careful when you address the Imperial Highness in Japan. Amusing reference to possible verbal misunderstanding, from Japan Today.
Categories: Literature/Language
Posted by Alex on Thu Jul 11, 2002
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