Literartue versus Hoaxes: Making the false believeable

A hoax is a type of literature that has been “forged.” It is a piece of writing that intentionally misrepresents or makes up events or people with the goal of making others believe that the story is true. Hoaxes may often have a fake author or take the form a false autobiography, memoir, or piece of writing on historical events. The main difference between a hoax and literature, such as fiction, is that a hoax is written to be credible; a hoax attempts to convince the reader that it is true. Despite how ridiculous, (or not), the reality that the hoax presents is, the writer often attempts to gain the trust of the reader and may prey on emotions, such as hope or desire to experience or learn about the unknown, in order to make the story seem plausible. Literature often engages the reader’s imagination, but the goal is not to convince the reader that a false reality actually exists. Both general literature and hoaxes are often at least loosely based off of some real-life experience or event. What ultimately distinguishes them is whether or not they want readers to believe the false parts or not.

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