Utne Blogs > Media

The Littlest Literary Hoax

 by Bennett Gordon


Tags: Media, literary journals, academia, modernism, Chronicle of Higher Education,

A literary hoax is raising uncomfortable questions about the state of academic journals.

Back in 2004, the literary-studies journal Modernism/Modernity printed an article by Jay Murray Siskind of Blacksmith College. The problem is that there is no Jay Murray Siskind, outside Don DeLillo’s classic modernist novel White Noise, and Blacksmith College doesn’t exist at all.

The literary hoax was not revealed until this year, when Mark Sample broke the story on his blog, Sample Reality. According to Sample, this long lag raises the question: “Did any regular readers of the journal ever even read, really read, the review?” Writing for the Chronicle of Higher Education, Peter Monaghan takes the argument a step further, asking, “does anyone read any literary-studies articles?”

Source: The Chronicle of Higher Education

tom hendricks
8/10/2009 10:42:57 AM

There's a much bigger literary hoax going on that deserves Utne's attention. The consolidation of the media has ruined mainstream publishing. For some reason the media has given up all journalistic responsibility in refusing to cover it. No coverage of the revolution in any arts, including literature. No coverage of the new writers in new forms No coverage of the new writer advocacy groups and leaders such as King Wenclas, or ULA or Musea. No coverage on why no coverage. Zinesters are the first generation that has had it's literature completely blocked from fair reviews. There were the beats writers. Zinesters are the beat-up writers.