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3 The Narrative Structure of Forgery Tales

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Chapter Summary

This chapter focuses on the general narrative structure of forgery tales. These stories share a common core of recurrent features composing a consistent schema. The close examination of this structural framework may serve as a guide for inquiries into the history of literary representations of forgery. However, approaching art-forgery affairs as stories should not lead us to overemphasize their literary cultivation. The interest of the chapter is the immanent logic of these stories, which has to be distinguished from their possible or actual literary uses and potential. Typically, art forgery consists in the production of an object imitating the style, signs of age and other detectable properties of a supposed original, and in the presentation of this imitation as being the original itself. Now, different interactions will occur between the forger and the dupe. But the stream of interactions always obeys a dominant direction.

Keywords: art-forgery; dupe; forger; forgery tales; narrative structure



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