Review of Faking Literature, by K.K. Ruthven
'Pleasure in the spurious helps perpetuate it' (89), writes K.K. Ruthven, author of Faking Literature. And he is right. Indeed, the argument that Ruthven makes about literary hoaxes applies to his own book: in the process of demonstrating that literary forgery is a 'critique of the twin institutions of literature and literary criticism' (195), Ruthven offers some very engaging accounts of literary hoaxes, plagiarism, imposture, and forgery. The problem is that by yoking together perpetrators of so many kinds of authorial misrepresentation under the rubric of literary forgery, Ruthven undermines his central argument that literary forgeries constitute an important mode of cultural critique.
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