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Category: Literature/Language
Gays must leave the plane
Posted by The Curator on Tue Jul 29, 2008
Posted recently by Tobester in the Hoax Forum: I couldn't resist doing some research on this. Here's what I found. a) It's definitely an urban legend. b) I can't find any record of it ever appearing in the New York Times. c) The earliest mention of it I can find in print dates back to July 10, 2000, when it was discussed in the Sydney Morning Herald. Apparently, in a version circulating back then, they were identified as the source of the tale. They denied this, pointed out the tale was an urban legend, and noted that in earlier…
Hair of the Dog… or Lord Byron?
Posted by The Curator on Sun Jun 22, 2008
Female fans of Lord Byron would often send him locks of their hair. In return he would send them a lock of his own. But a new book claims that what Byron often sent was a lock of fur from his pet newfoundland dog Boatswain. From Times Online: John Murray VII, chairman of his family’s publishing house, which was founded in 1768 and worked with Byron, said the story had been passed down through the generations. Murray said the fans to whom Byron sent the hair would have been under the impression that it was his, “but it sometimes…
How Knoop Became JT Leroy
Posted by The Curator on Mon Jun 02, 2008
Laura Albert created the character of JT Leroy, and wrote the books that appeared in his name. However, Albert's sister-in-law, Savannah Knoop, played the part of JT whenever he was required to make an appearance in real life. Now Knoop has authored an account of what it was like to play JT. It'll be published in October by Seven Stories Press. From the publisher's website: In January 2006, The New York Times unmasked Savannah Knoop as the face of the mysterious author JT LeRoy. A media frenzy ensued as JT’s fans,…
Categories: Literature/Language Comments (6)
Was Shakespeare a Jewish Woman?
Posted by The Curator on Wed May 28, 2008
There are many theories about the true identity of Shakespeare. A new one (at least, new to me) is that Shakespeare was actually a Jewish woman named Amelia Bassano Lanier. This argument is made by John Hudson, author of a forthcoming biography of Bassano (who was the first woman to publish a book of poetry in England). Haaretz reports: The theory rests largely on the circumstances of Bassano's life, which Hudson contends match, much better than William Shakespeare's did, the content of "Shakespeare's" work. But Hudson has also identified technical similarities…
Categories: Literature/Language Comments (11)
Milfs Appalled by Racy Books
Posted by The Curator on Tue May 06, 2008
Heraldnet.com (the newspaper of Snohomish County) recently ran this story: Mom appalled at racy books in store for teens at Alderwood mall By Scott Pesznecker Herald Writer LYNNWOOD -- Marci Milfs went to Urban Outfitters to find clothes for her teenage son. She was surprised to find sexually charged books that she believes have no place in a clothing store for teens and young adults. On one end of the spectrum was "Porn for Women," a photo book showing men doing housework. On the other was "Pornogami: A Guide to the Ancient Art of Paper-Folding for…
It’s a cab, innit
Posted by The Curator on Tue Apr 15, 2008
Many British papers have reported the humorous story of a young woman who called the operator trying to order a cab, but instead had a cabinet delivered to her home. Her problem was too much Cockney, and too little Queen's English. From Ananova: the Londoner, 19, wanted a taxi to take her to Bristol airport, and first used the Cockney rhyming slang "Joe Baxi". When the operator told her she couldn't find anyone by that name, the teen replied: "It ain't a person, it's a cab, innit." The operator then found the nearest cabinet shop, Displaysense, and put the…
Real Book, Fake Author
Posted by The Curator on Mon Apr 07, 2008
The novel Charm has already sold more than 100,000 copies. It debuted at No. 13 on the New York Times best-seller list. However, its author, Kendall Hart, isn't real. Hart is a character on the ABC soap opera "All My Children." As this NY Times article puts it: "It has Kendall’s name on the cover but the name of the actual writer is being kept secret." This is why writers get depressed. They work hard to produce good books, which end up in remainder bins. Meanwhile, people flock in droves to buy a book just because it has the name of a soap opera character slapped on the front cover. These kind…
Categories: Literature/Language Comments (8)
Identifying Memoir Hoaxers
Posted by The Curator on Wed Mar 05, 2008
Margaret Soltan makes an interesting observation on her blog about all the recent memoir hoaxers. She writes: Consider these author photos of a few (there are many more) recent memoir hoaxers.  What do they have in common?  They all say:  Look directly at my big sad eyes.  I have deeply suffered. Perhaps we can ask legitimate writers to assume a different pose.  That way we can identify the hoaxers. The authors shown are, from left to right, Margaret Seltzer, Norma Khouri, Helen Demidenko,…
Categories: Literature/Language Comments (4)
Yet Another Literary Hoax
Posted by The Curator on Tue Mar 04, 2008
One week after Misha Defonseca confessed that she didn't really grow up with wolves, as she claimed in her memoir of her childhood in war-torn Europe, another literary hoax has surfaced. Love and Consequences, by Margaret B. Jones, purports to be a non-fiction memoir of the author's life "as a half-white, half-Native American girl growing up in South-Central Los Angeles as a foster child among gang-bangers, running drugs for the Bloods." In reality, as the NY Times reports: "Margaret B. Jones is a pseudonym for Margaret Seltzer, who is all white and grew up in the well-to-do Sherman Oaks section of Los Angeles, in the San Fernando Valley, with her…
Hoax Holocaust Memoir
Posted by The Curator on Mon Mar 03, 2008
The big news in the world of hoaxes, revealed last week (and already posted in the forum), was the revelation that Misha Defonseca's best-selling, non-fiction memoir of growing up in war-torn Europe turns out to be fiction. (Thanks to everyone who forwarded me links to the news.) Defonseca's memoir, Misha: A Memoir of the Holocaust Years (also titled Surviving with Wolves), describes how when she was a young child her Jewish parents were seized by the Nazis, forcing her to wander Europe alone until she was adopted by a pack of wolves in the Warsaw ghetto. The reality is that she wasn't…
Why do we encourage children to be gullible?
Posted by The Curator on Wed Feb 20, 2008
Tom Bell, in the Agoraphilia blog, asks an interesting question. Why does children's fiction promote credulity as a virtue? Children's fiction employs this trope so often that it fits a formula. A wise character tries to convince the protagonist that something wonderful will happen if only he or she will earnestly believe an improbability. Consider, for instance, how Yoda tells Luke to cast aside all doubt if he wants to levitate his x-wing from the swamps of Dagobah. "Do, or do not. There is no try," Yoda explains. Following the usual script, Luke resists, courting disaster, before he finally…
Quick Links: Feb 1, 2008
Posted by The Curator on Fri Feb 01, 2008
Dave, the forecasting pig "'Darke County Dave,' a local hog, will opine -- or oswine -- on America's economic outlook on Friday, the Ohio treasurer's office said. In his inaugural outing, Dave will choose between a trough of sugar or one of sawdust to gauge the the economy's future course at the event in Greenville, Ohio, northwest of Dayton." (Thanks, Gary) How to say "Mr. Rose Apple Nose" in Thai sign language "Sign language interpreters in Thailand have run afoul of some ruling party supporters by holding their noses to refer to the new prime minister." Big Gary comments: "Here's another of those 'awkward translation' stories, this one apparently true. I…
Loch Ness Monster Poetry
Posted by The Curator on Sat Jan 26, 2008
In the article about the Loch Ness Monster in the hoaxipedia, I've posted some Nessie haiku contributed by readers. I'm quite proud of my own contribution: Lurking in the deep, centuries old. Addicted to tourist sushi. But far more accomplished poets have also been inspired by Nessie. Glasgow's poet laureate, Edwin Morgan, included a poem, "The Loch Ness Monster's Song," in his 1970 collection Twelve Songs. Here it is: Sssnnnwhufffffl? Hnwhuffl hhnnwfl…
Quick Links: January 14, 2008
Posted by The Curator on Tue Jan 15, 2008
Nuclear Reactor in Garage A 22-year-old man was boasting on an amateur science blog that he had built a mini-nuclear reactor in his garage. His boasts earned him a visit from federal authorities who determined that he didn't actually have a nuclear reactor. But he did have some kind of strange experiment going on that, had it continued, "would have been a cleanup issue." (Thanks, Joe) Dead Man Cashing Check Scam "Two men were arrested on Tuesday after pushing a corpse, seated in an office chair, along the sidewalk to a check-cashing store to cash the dead man’s Social Security check." (Thanks, Gary) Facebook President Hoax
Fake is Japan’s Annual Symbol
Posted by The Curator on Mon Dec 17, 2007
The Japan Kanji ability assessment association has selected the Chinese character meaning "fake" as the symbol that best describes Japan in 2007. Xinhuanet.com reports: The result represented Japanese people's anger over the society's darkness exposed in 2007, including a series of financial scandals involving Cabinet ministers, the Social Insurance Agency's blunder of losing about 50 million pension records and some well-know food companies' forgery of production dates. My wife was recently thinking of getting a small tattoo, because she's always wanted one, but has never had the courage to get one. So I told her that if she got one,…
Categories: Literature/Language Comments (2)
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