Encyclopedia of Exploration: Spoof Article
|The spoof article in part 1 was found |
|With the publication of the first volume we announced in A NOTICE TO THE READER |
Students of this encyclopedia must be warned that one of the articles in Part 1 is devoted entirely to a traveller of the author's invention. Such a ploy has for many years been incorporated not only into works of this nature, but also into maps and illustrations, as a means of protecting copyright. But rarely is the student made aware of it, and even less often is a reward, other than that of the type given in heaven, offered for its identification.
The offending article is of reasonable length and blends seamlessly with the names of other, legitimate travellers. The associated bibliography is also a fabrication. The spoof article is known only to the author; it has eluded the publisher, the copyeditor and the several learned authorities who perused the book prior to publication; but sufficient clues have been written into the text to allow recognition by the informed scholar without reference to other sources. A reward of a case of champagne is being offered by the publisher to the person who, armed with what the author considers incontrovertible justification, is the first to identify the impostor.
Hordern House congratulated Volkmar Holz who discovered the spoof article in a fantastic manner! Volkmar was awarded a case of champagne.
Reproduced in full by kind permission of Mr Holz.
After receiving the monumental Encyclopedia and spending a terrific week of exciting reading I would like to claim officially the prize offered for the spoof article in part one - because the article on Johann Friedrich Spassvogel ( S 115, p.986 ) must be a pure product of Mr Howgego´s imagination.
Old German family names can be colourful or even funny, often associated with food, drink or love ( "Trinckviel", "Kussmaul" etc) but the name Spassvogel is a bit exceptional, literally meaning "a bird making fun" (in French one would translate "farceur"). Then there was no battle of "the bridge of Dessau" in the thirty-years war, and it would be a mad project doomed to failure to found in the old and free hanseatic town of Bremen a "Royal" "Handlungs"-Gesellschaft (Handlung meaning act or action, it should be "Handel", trade). Hard to imagine a ship-owner who would name his vessel "Treibend" (drifting), and a colonizer calling his settlement "Ungesund" (unhealthy) musts either be considered mentally insane or displaying a refined sense of humour- the last option is certainly the case for the author.
Of course, none of the references given at the end can be found in the classic bibliographies (Leclerc, Harisse for instance), and the only thing to regret is that Mr Howgego did not include some more, how about this one: W. Hopfenkoetter, Sch. Duennbier, " The influence of the Ungesund colony on North German Folk Music" vol. 1-3, Hildesheim 1911- 1999 ?
Best regards, and again congratulations for this truly outstanding, wonderful book.
Post-Scriptum: As I live in France, could I suggest to ship the Champagne directly from the producer ? Man should travel but not necessarily his drinks.