My Life as a Fake
In his remarkable new novel, the two-time Booker-winning author Peter Carey creates a Creature as indelible as Frankenstein.In Melbourne in the 1950s, an arrogant young Australian poet named Christopher Chubb decides to teach his country a lesson about pretension and authenticity. Choosing as his... show more
In his remarkable new novel, the two-time Booker-winning author Peter Carey creates a Creature as indelible as Frankenstein.In Melbourne in the 1950s, an arrogant young Australian poet named Christopher Chubb decides to teach his country a lesson about pretension and authenticity. Choosing as his target the trendiest of the literary magazines, he submits for publication the entire oeuvre of one Bob McCorkle, a working class poet of raw power and sexual frankness, conveniently dead at twenty-four and entirely the product of Chubb's imagination. Not only does the magazine fall for the hoax, but the local authorities also sue its editor for publishing obscenity. At the trial someone uncannily resembling the faked photograph of the invented McCorkle leaps to his feet. At this moment a horrified Chubb is confronted by the malevolent being he has himself manufactured.Using as a springboard a real literary hoax that transfixed Australia in his boyhood, Peter Carey wickedly and ruefully explores how the phantom poet taunts, haunts and otherwise destroys his maker, pursuing Chubb from Melbourne to a seedy, sweaty, bitter ending in the tropical chaos of Kuala Lumpur. Inexorably the Creature steals Chubb's life, eclipsing him as a poet and a man. In a twist that is truly devilish, Chubb's own existence finally comes to depend on the Creature's "real" unpublished poems.Peter Carey has composed a manic, endearing and penetrating ode to fakery at its most truthful and truth at its most fake, a novel that penetrates to the heart of the alchemy of literature itself.
Publish date: October 28th 2003
Pages no: 265
Edition language: English
A "literary novel" that really meets the definition! The premise is that the female editor of a British literary magazine tries tracking down an author who created a poetry hoax - and then the fictional poet appears in the flesh. The author in question is named Christopher Chubb, the literary edito...