When did humans start lying? The Bible nominates Adam and Eve as the first pioneers, but all we have now is the written record, which only takes us back about five thousand years. The accumulated infamy of lies, deceits, impostures, fakes and hoaxes that populated history after that point had grown, at least by the 18th century, into a veritable "House of Forgery", underscoring its growing prominence within the popular imagination. In the centuries since, and now in the midst of our own digital revolution, the House of Forgery seems to be growing exponentially, threatening to become our very own, modern-day Tower of Babel.
But is forgery simply a tissue of lies? Can any one person claim complete immunity from the subversive attractions and imaginative possibilities of a creative relationship with the "truth"? Are we not human? Is that great historical "House of Forgery" really just a catastrophe of human iniquity, deceptiveness, and perversion? Can we not suspend judgment and search for something of ourselves in forgeries? Creativity? Imagination? Even the odd flash of virtuosity?
In the works that follow, we encounter forgeries in all manner of literary shapes and historical sizes: archeological, classical, biblical, ecclesiastical, political, philosophical, historical, geographical, autobiographical. In each, we might look for something beyond the pejorative, not just echoes of human credulity, but also glimmers of our own hopes, aspirations, and wild imaginings.