Summarized by Kent Larsen
Saga Of A Hoffman Forgery May Be Made Into Film
Village Voice 3May00 A6
By Cynthia Cotts
NEW YORK, NEW YORK -- The saga of a poem forged by Mark Hoffman could
eventually be made into a movie, if author Simon Worrall is
successful. Worrall wrote the story of a document Hoffman created and
passed off as the work of famous poet Emily Dickinson. Even after
Hoffman was jailed for murdering two LDS Church members in an attempt
to cover up his forgeries, which centered around Mormon historical
documents, the poem still appeared on the market, and was sold by the
world-famous auction house, Sotheby's.
Worrell stumbled across the story of the poem in 1997, when it came
up for auction at Sotheby's. Acquired by the Jones Library in
Amherst, Massachusetts, a curator at the library became suspicious,
and was eventually able to get the poem ruled a fake. Worrell then
traced the poem back to Mark Hoffman through Las Vegas rare document
dealer Todd Axelrod.
But even after he had spent six months researching and writing the
article, Worrell had trouble selling it. The New Yorker said no
eventually, after holding it for months, worrying that the lawsuit
might cause a libel lawsuit. Harpers also struggled with it,
eventually deciding it wouldn't work.
But the Sydney, Australia Morning Herald carried a version of the
article [See Mormon-News' summary at
http://www.mormonstoday.com/000213/A4Hoffman01.shtml], and the
Manchester Guardian carried a version of the article on April
8th.Now, the Paris Review has picked it up for U.S. publication,
after editor George Plimpton personally went over the text with a
libel lawyer line by line.
Happy with how it has turned out, Worrell has agents Phillip Spitzer
and Joel Gotler working on a book and movie deal based on the story.
Undoubtedly, a book or movie would need to give some background on
Hoffman and his forgeries of Mormon documents.
The Impersonation of Emily
Manchester UK Guardian 8Apr00 A4
By Simon Worrel
More about Salamander : The Story of the Mormon Forgery Murders at Amazon.com
More about The Mormon Murders : A True Story of Greed, Forgery, Deceit, and Death at Amazon.com