Jul 22nd 2009 By Ian Fortey
Not all literary hoaxes get the same kind of exposure as James Frey's brutal whooping at the hands of Oprah Winfrey. Some sneak right by, especially the subtle ones like Jay Murray Siskind's review of David Foster Wallace's "Oblivion"
in a 2004 issue of Modernism/Modernity.
In the five subsequent years, the review has been treated as legitimate, even being cited as peer-reviewed research. The problem being that Jay Murray Siskind is a character from the books "Amazons" and "White Noise"
by Don DeLillo. In simple terms this is like Frodo Baggins reviewing "Harry Potter."
Some scholars became aware of the review at the time of its appearance but, as with many small, curious concerns, most simply assumed everyone else also noticed it and that someone else would fix it.
The review itself, littered with tangents and in-jokes for anyone familiar with the book "White Noise," has been attributed to no one in particular and remains something of a mystery. Whether the hoax was perpetrated by Wallace, DeLillo or maybe just a bored fan of the genre with a bit of spare time, it has since become apparent that nobody really cared.
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