The 7 Best Literary Hoaxes

Nicholas C. Rossis

Peanuts - April Fools' Day | From the blog of Nicholas C. Rossis, author of science fiction, the Pearseus epic fantasy series and children's booksTo celebrate April Fools’ Day, I’ve dug up my favorite literary hoaxes of all time, courtesy of Huffington Post and Atlas Obscura.

1. Jean-Baptiste Botul

In February 2010, the famous French philosopher Bernard-Henri Levy was duped by a fake 20th-century philosopher, Jean-Baptiste Botul. When Levy made some incendiary claims about Immanuel Kant, calling him “raving mad” and a “fake,” he used Botul for support. Turns out it wasn’t Kant who was the fake: Botul is a fictional French philosopher created in 1995 by journalist Frédéric Pagès and other members of a group calling itself the Association of the Friends of Jean-Baptiste Botul. Originating as a literary hoax, the names of both Botul and his philosophy of botulism derive from botulism, a terrible illness caused by the bacterium Clostridium botulinum. There is now an annual Botul Prize awarded for a book that mentions Botul.

2. “Da Vinci Code”…

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