DCPLive is a blog by library staff at the DeKalb County Public Library!
Feb 11 2011

Life Imitates Art

by Jesse M

In an essay titled The Decay of Lying, 19th century author Oscar Wilde made the claim that “Life imitates art…”. This statement is being borne out by a curious phenomenon occurring in the literary world, where fake books which have appeared in fictional stories are being produced and published.

For example, in the final installment of J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter series, protagonist Hermione Granger is bequeathed a book of wizarding fairy tales titled The Tales of Beedle the Bard. Rowling began writing the book after finishing work on Harry Potter and The Deathly Hallows, initially producing just a small quantity of handmade copies then later releasing editions for the general public in 2008. Rowling has also published two other “fake” books referenced in her fiction, Quidditch Through the Ages and Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them.

Rowling is in good company. Author Michael Chabon partnered with Dark Horse Comics to publish a comic book series based on the The Escapist, a superhero invented by fictional authors Joe Kavalier and Sam Clay featured in his book The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay. And Dean Koontz published a limited edition of The Book of Counted Sorrows after receiving a high volume of correspondence from fans and librarians requesting aid in locating the non-existent book, verses from which were “quoted” in a number of Koontz’s stories.

Check out this article for more examples of fake books that have become real.

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Greg H. February 14, 2011 at 10:57 AM

One of the most significant things I can remember learning as an English major was that Kurt Vonnegut’s character “Kilgore Trout”, author of VENUS ON THE HALF SHELL ,was actually Philip Jose Farmer. Having Trout’s cover blown was also kind of a disappointment. It’s a fun read, however, if you can find a copy.

Leave a Comment

Previous post:

Next post: