Reading Carey Reading Malley

THERE is a moment in My Life as a Fake when Christopher Chubb considers, not for the last time, 'the blasphemous possibility that he had, with his own pen, created blood and bone and a beating heart' (152). This point of despair in Chubb marks the beginning of our understanding of the novel's reading of the Ern Malley hoax. For the novel demonstrates what the hoax itself revealed, if only we could see it: that real life can be a created by the text. Moreover, hoaxes themselves deconstruct our belief in an historical truth by demonstrating that both truth and lie, history and hoax, are a function of narrative. Both gain life by the stories told about them. The stories that survive as truth are the stories that best convince their audience. This goes right to the heart of the invention of history by western Modernity and its subsequent domination of the story of the world. This domination empowers the myth of canonical purity from which the hoax emerges.

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Published 1 October 2004 in Volume 21 No. 4. Subjects: Ern Malley Hoax, Literary hoaxes.

Cite as: Ashcroft, Bill. ‘Reading Carey Reading Malley.’ Australian Literary Studies, vol. 21, no. 4, 2004, doi: 10.20314/als.d5ed90e35f.