A false document is a literary technique that attempts to create in the reader (viewer, audience, etc) a sense of authenticity beyond the normal and expected suspension of disbelief. That is, it wants to fool the audience briefly into thinking that what is being presented is actually a fact. This is not to be confused with a mockumentary, an admittedly fictional film done in the manner of adocumentary.
In practice, the device takes a very simple form. The work of art (be it a text, a moving image, a comic book or whatever) usually is composed of or includes some piece of forgery. The false document effect can be achieved in many ways including faked police reports, newspaper articles, bibliographical references and documentary footage. The effect can be extended outside of the confinesof the text by way of supplementary material such as badges, ID cards, diaries, letters or other objects.
The moral and legal implications of false document art are, by necessity, complex and perhaps insoluble. The difference between a great artistic achievement and a stunning forgery is slim. Sometimes the false document technique can be the subject of a work instead of its technique, thoughthese two approaches are not mutually exclusive as many texts which engage falseness do so both on the literal and the thematic level.
1 Origin of the false document technique
The technique is chiefly associated with postmodernism, but is both older than that movement, and also encompasses art pieces and activities outside of the scope of art usually considered part of any "artistic movement." Oneof the earliest examples of the technique is the 18th century French novel The Nun , by Denis Diderot. It was begun originally not as a work for literary consumption but as an elaborate practical joke aimed at making a wealthy philanthropist give support to a spurious cause.
It seems to grow out of the epistolary novel but has more in common with the newspaper serial from which it draws most ofits technique. The conceit is most commonly used where a heightened sense of authenticity is required for the desired effect of the story to be maintained. Blurring the line of reality and fiction is an important component of horror, mystery, detective and fantasy narratives because they wish to engender in the reader a sense of wonder, and of danger, both of which need to feel more present than atypical narrative form would allow. For this reason, false documentary techniques have been in use for at least as long as these literary genres have been around. Frankenstein draws heavily on a forged document feel, as does Dracula, Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde and many of the works of Jules Verne and H.G. Wells. Vladimir Nabokov's Pale Fire is a particularly elaborate variation.
2 False documents inart
Orson WellesCarl Van Vechten, 1937 George Orson Welles ( May 6, 1915 October 10, 1985) is commonly considered one of Hollywood's greatest directors, as well as a fine actor and screenwriter. Early career Welles was born in Kenosha, Wisconsin. He had an unusual childh' F for Fake is a prime example of a film which is both about falsificationFalsification is the act of disproving a theory. SeeFalsifiability. Falsification in the sense of forgery should not be confused with Karl Popper's idea of Falsifiability in Philosophy of science. Falsification is the act of producing something that lack ( art forgeryArt forgery means creating and especially selling works of art that are falsely attributed to be work of other, usually more famous artists. History Copying of famous works hashappened from the time immemorial. Roman sculptors produced copies of Greek sc and the journalism surrounding art forgery) as well as having falsified moments within the film. The movie follows the exploits of a famous art forger, his biographer Clifford IrvingClifford Irving (b. 1930) is a US writer famous for his "authorized autobiography" of Howard Hughes. It turned out to be a hoax. Previous life...
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