NABOKV-L post 0024065, Fri, 26 Apr 2013 22:52:36 -0700

hoaxes and forgeries
To the List,

Perhaps someone out there will be able to help me recall the name of a natural
history hoax from the '80s. The title of first the book and then the film was
the ***V***V*** Chronicles. Three syllables the initial letter may have been an

While searching on the web for this hoax, I came across the infamous Piltdown
Man (someone theorized that the author of Sherlock Holmes may have been the
author of the faked fossil), I also came across previously unknown to be hoaxes
and forgeries by the VN look-alike, Broges:

Hoaxes and forgeries
Tomb of Jorge Luis Borges
Borges's best-known set of literary forgeries date from his early work as a
translator and literary critic with a regular column in the Argentine
magazine El Hogar. Along with publishing numerous legitimate translations, he
also published original works, for example, in the style of Emanuel
Swedenborg[Notes 5]or One Thousand and One Nights, originally claiming them to
be translations of works he had chanced upon. In another case, he added three
short, falsely attributed pieces into his otherwise legitimate and carefully
researched anthology El matrero.[Notes 5] Several of these are gathered in the A
Universal History of Infamy.
At times he wrote reviews of nonexistent writings by some other person. The key
example of this is "Pierre Menard, Author of the Quixote", which imagines a
twentieth-century Frenchman who tries to write Miguel de Cervantes' Don
Quixote verbatim, not by having memorized Cervantes' work, but as an "original"
narrative of his own invention. Initially the Frenchman tries to immerse himself
in sixteenth-century Spain, but dismisses the method as too easy, instead trying
to reach Don Quixote through his own experiences. He finally manages to
(re)create "the ninth and thirty-eighth chapters of the first part of Don
Quixote and a fragment of chapter twenty-two." Borges's "review" of the work of
the fictional Menard uses tongue-in-cheek comparisons to explore the resonances
which Don Quixote has picked up over the centuries since it was written. He
discusses how much "richer" Menard's work is than that of Cervantes, even though
the actual text is exactly the same.
While Borges was the great popularizer of the review of an imaginary work, he
had developed the idea from Thomas Carlyle's Sartor Resartus, a book-length
review of a non-existent Germantranscendentalist work, and the biography of its
equally non-existent author. In This Craft of Verse, Borges says that in 1916 in
Geneva "[I] discovered, and was overwhelmed by, Thomas Carlyle. I read Sartor
Resartus, and I can recall many of its pages; I know them by heart."[66] In the
introduction to his first published volume of fiction, The Garden of Forking
Paths, Borges remarks, "It is a laborious madness and an impoverishing one, the
madness of composing vast books, setting out in five hundred pages an idea that
can be perfectly related orally in five minutes. The better way to go about it
is to pretend that those books already exist, and offer a summary, a commentary
on them." He then cites both Sartor Resartus and Samuel Butler's The Fair Haven,
remarking, however, that "those works suffer under the imperfection that they
themselves are books, and not a whit less tautological than the others. A more
reasonable, more inept, and more lazy man, I have chosen to write notes
on imaginary books."[67]
On the other hand, Borges was wrongly attributed some works, like the
poem Instantes.[68][69

Sartor Resartus played a small role in an extrememly odd trial in which I
happened to be a juror. I should write it up - what a hoot.

Oh, and I was able to track down THE HELLSTROM CHRONICLES! thanks anyway!


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