Rohan Kriwaczek (right), whose An Incomplete History of the Art of the Funerary Violin has charmed publishing observers on both sides of the Atlantic with the sheer thoroughness of its hoax, dropped in on McNally Robinson a few days ago to check the store out before tonight’s “concert appearance,” where he’ll be playing the violin as well as taking questions about the book. The funny thing is, after some bookseller in Iowa went to all the trouble of figuring out the con, a blog purporting to be by the director of Leipzig’s MuseumZeitraum makes an effort to restore the patina of authenticity, claiming that the history “debunked” as fake is in fact real.
Well, the museum seems to exist…at first. But a little more searching on Google turns up evidence this is yet another hoax, and a very elaborate one at that. Seriously, I haven’t seen a pledge this elaborate since my visit to LA’s Museum of Jurassic Technology, which was the subject of Lawrence Weschler’s delightful Mr. Wilson’s Cabinet of Wonder. Now the question is: Are these two separate fantabulist schemes, or one big one?