Alice Massat

The Success of Frauds and Fakes Publication date : April 19, 2013

Alice Massat is a psychoanalyst and novelist. In her works of fiction, she has dealt with poses, imposture and implicit rules. She is the author of Le Ministère de l’intérieur (1999), Les Forces de l’ordre (2002), Le Code civil (2003), Premier rôle (2008), all published by Denoël, and Les Quatre Eborgnés (Gallimard, 2013).

Forgers, seducers, liars and swindlers beguile the public and often make headlines. When they assume different names and alter their appearance, these impostors deceive themselves as much as they deceive others: they erase their own name, image and identity.
What hidden truth, what secrets does such play-acting reveal? Writers of fiction and newspaper editors know the public is fascinated by tales of fraud and trickery. But some people feel they are frauds when they finally attain a goal they have dreamt of. What is the significance of such a feeling?
Drawing on the cases of well-known impostors, the author examines fraud, its expression and means. She also studies the role played by information technology in a vast game of false appearances, arguing that talking about imposture is actually a way of talking about today’s world.

• Imposture: a fascinating subject explored by a psychoanalyst.
• A thorough study of a wide range of different types of common, every-day scams and swindles, grounded in seductive forms of behaviour.