Friday Fun Link

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Or maybe Friday Fascinating Link … this Theodore Dalrymple mind-bender is best summarized in Doktor Frank's also-fun (or fascinating) link to it:

a Church of England vicar gets his book published by a for-women-only specialty division of a publishing house by managing to leave the impression that he is a young, female Muslim of Indian origin. The hoax is discovered, and the book is "disappeared." And the world "loses" a minor literary masterpiece.

If that's not fun enough for you … how about Dr. Vendyl Jones announcing that he's digging up the Ark of the Covenant? (Via Boing Boing.)

NEXT: On the Record In Syria

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  1. “Dr. Jones, who divides his time between Texas and Israel, has been here since March 9th ready to finally reveal the Ark.

    Texas…uh huh.

    “However, he has been waiting for both permission from the mysterious Kabbalist and for project funding to come through.”

    Well that makes sense. Once he gets the one, the other’s sure to follow.

  2. The literary hoax story is entirely fascinating. Aside from the fact that Darymple readily swallows the Reverend Forward’s explanation that he used the pseud of a Muslim woman, “because he did not want to receive letters of rejection in his own name, which would somehow be more wounding to his pride than rejections send to Rahila Khan,” (Virago only publishes books by women, something any prospective author of theirs well knows), he makes some cogent points about how the industry makes asumptions about “authenticity.”

  3. I went to hear Dr. Jones speak a few months ago. It was kind of wierd – I’d never heard of him, but I belong to the Houston Museum of Natural Science and he spoke as part of their Distinguished Lecturers series. I didn’t bother Googling him or anything – the Ark of the Covenant and other Biblical research looked interesting, so I went. He was introduced by one of the prominent anchors of our local PBS station – it all seemed so normal. And once he got deeply into his speech I was thinking – oookaaay, hmmm. Different.

    He’s very pro-Israel, as am I, so that part was cool. And as a practicing Christian, I’d think it awfully cool if the AOTC were found, but c’mon.

    There were a lot of Jewish people attending, and they all agreed that he knows his history and his archeology – he’s been in Isreal for 40 years or so, or at least since the 67 war; as for whether he’s a complete crackpot or not, no one wanted to opine. And we couldn’t figure out if he’d actually converted to Judaism; he originally went to Israel as a Baptist minister, but most of his kids are now Jewish and there are some very entertaining websites which purport to prove that Jones is, if not the Antichrist, one of his precursors.

    Anyway…

  4. stubby — If you ever come out to Los Angeles, make a point of finding the “Holy Land” museum, which is hidden in some tucked-away house deep in Echo Park. The guy who founded it, whose name escapes me, is another candidate for The Inspiration of Indiana Jones; he spent his lifetime (before WW2, if I recall) raiding the the treasures of the three great religions, and then feeling bad about it. The foundation that still runs the museum is very weird and quiet…. Fascinating stuff.

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