Literary hoax is a very old and common phenomenon in the world of literature. Using pseudonyms became very popular in 18th century. Women used male pseudonyms to get recognition and many male writers as well wrote under a pen-name to keep the author’s identity secret. However, many authors started using the concept of pseudonym unethically to obtain fame and money in the literary world. This assignment will compare and contract two literary hoaxes, Grey Owl and JT LeRoy, to critique literary hoaxing. The critics condemn literary hoax as it is the form of forgery and the readers are provided with wrong information.
More Serious Hoax between Grey Owl and JT LeRoy
Grey Owl was a renowned naturalist and conservationist of wilderness in Canada. However, his real name was Archie Belaney and he was born in England. His personal life was quite scandalous. As soon as Belaney breathed his last, his hidden identity started surfacing in public. The North Bay Nugget published the full revelation about Archie Belaney (Bethune, 2017). Archie was raised up by his single mother who was deserted by his father immediately after the marriage. In his spare time, he started developing his own world of fantasy where he grew acute compassion for the animals and the Red Indian natives. All of his writings were in concern of the wildlife and wilderness. In the case of Grey Owl, Archie, the real person, led a reprehensible and objectionable life. He abandoned wives and children. Nevertheless, he remained true to his writing. He lived as Grey Owl but there was only him behind his works.