Gadzooks! quoth I, but here’s
a saucy "I, Libertine" hoax!
Year before his stories became the genesis for the movie A Christmas Story, Jean Shepherd was a radio DJ with a late night following:
… "I was new to New York, and I suddenly became aware that New York is almost entirely a city that really does run on lists." But, he asked his listeners, "has it occurred to you that these lists are compiled by mortals and that they are human just like you are and, in fact, they have many more axes to grind than you?"…
"The people who believe in these lists are asleep," he reminded his fans. "Anyone sitting up at three in the morning secretly has doubts."
He continued: "What do you say tomorrow morning each one of us walk into a bookstore, and ask for a book that we know does not exist?"
Shepherd fleshed out the details for this hypothetical tome. He asked his listeners to call in with suggestions for a title, and one listener came up with I, Libertine, perfect in its blend of the highbrow and salacious.
And so the idea for a successful hoax was born.
Read more: The Man Behind The Brilliant Media Hoax Of "I, Libertine", The Awl>>