Wednesday, 9 November 2011

Words of the day

1. Mountweazel: a fake article in a reference work designed to identify plagiarists. The term is a homage to Lillian Virginia Mountweasel, the famous and entirely fictional author. Margaret Drabble (rather excellent author famous mostly for feuding with her famous author sister A. S. Byatt) put one in her Oxford Companion To English Literature.


There isn't a Graeco-Roman author named Pycletius, whatever Enotes (follow that link) thinks. 

Is this a smug liberal ivory-tower parlour game? Perhaps, to an extent, but it does serve a serious purpose, and is genuinely funny. Personally, I'd like to nominate Martin Amis as a fake: I'm convinced that his father Kingsley invented him in cahoots with his friend Philip Larkin as an example of everything they thought wrong with literary fiction.

Lillian Virginia Mountweazel:

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