Archives For hoaxes

Dickens and Dostoevsky

This is a great article on a meeting of two literary giants. Here’s a cool quote from Dostoevsky about how Dickens created relatable characters.

“All the good simple people in his novels, Little Nell, even the holy simpletons like Barnaby Rudge, are what he wanted to have been, and his villains were what he was (or rather, what he found in himself), his cruelty, his attacks of causeless enmity toward those who were helpless and looked to him for comfort, his shrinking from those whom he ought to love, being used up in what he wrote. There were two people in him, he told me: one who feels as he ought to feel and one who feels the opposite. From the one who feels the opposite I make my evil characters, from the one who feels as a man ought to feel I try to live my life. ‘Only two people?’ I asked.”

Although it’s actually about a long running hoax that has made the rounds through newspapers, biographies, and the Internet, for a few years. It’s a long read that gets weirder as it goes – but is a reminder that you shouldn’t believe everything you see on the web. The guy behind the rumour has published books, submitted articles, and submitted scathing reviews of his own work to different journals under a string of different names – and was undone by plagiarising some of his own bizarre adult fiction (there are a few paragraphs of said fiction included in the article so be warned). The quote above could very much be about himself.