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Literary Forgeries

ENGL 790.301
M 9-12

We will look at various cases of literary forgery: from Ossian & Chatterton in the 18th Century; the non-existent Ern Malley, first Modernist poet of Australia, whose work fooled the adulatory editors of *Angry Penguins*; to up-to-the-minute scandals, the controversy over the testimonio I, Rigobertu Menchu (which is not a forgery: the specifics of the recounted experiences are at issue); the ´┐Żlanguage poems' of Yasusada, the imaginary Hiroshima survivor who really seems to be a professor at Bowling Green; *The White Hotel* by D. M. Thomas; the recent award-winning Holocaust memoir by someone who was never in the camps, etc.

These quite various cases raise fascinating questions involving the function of the author, the bases of literary representativeness, and the nature of literary value.