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“…and therefore awkward, bizarre, ethically dubious, and easily worth reading.”

April 12, 2013

How does that sentence begin? “The story is from late in Dostoevsky’s life…” Apparently Arthur Schnitzler “identified Fyodor Dostoevsky’s 1876 story ‘A Gentle Creature’ as one of the sparks of his own ‘Lieutenant Gustl,’” and Tom at Wuthering Expectations has some interesting things to say about stream of consciousness in the two works. Here’s the Russian text of Кроткая: Фантастическая рассказ (“A Gentle Creature: A Fantastic Story”).

(That’s from a rehearsal for a recent dramatization of “A Gentle Creature,” and the music is an instrumental version of “Rodina,” or “Homeland,” by the band DDT.)

That WE post is a double blessing, since it also has a link to this amazing story from Eric Naiman. I’d heard about the Dickens-Dostoevskii hoax from Sarah J. Young’s blog and on SEELANGS (both of which are mentioned in the article), but I can’t believe how complicated it got and I’m glad Naiman was interested enough to follow it so far.

One Comment leave one →
  1. April 14, 2013 8:09 pm

    I was struck by similarity of this “amazing” story to the three stages of money laundering: placement, layering, and integration. First incorrect information has been placed into the system using a “weak link” – a journal that published it without proper verification, thus making it to look reliable; then it has been layered when quoted and re-quoted by respectable researchers, and then it became “common knowledge” and made its way into popular books.

    Same as with money laundering, it unraveled when somebody (Michael Hollington) became suspicious and traced it back to the non-existent source, but by then it had been integrated.

    Recently published “Trust Me, I’m Lying: Confessions of a Media Manipulator” by Ryan Holiday exposes mechanics of how this works in the world of media: Internet, TV, and newspapers – complete with layering, a need to create a story out of nothing, and multiple identities used to raise and sustain the discussion. Cui bone? His clients, whose movies, books, or products are being promoted.

    On the other hand, the hoax could have been a case of coconatization.

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