imposture :

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  • n  pretending to be another person

  • In this shrewd, satiric novel about Vella and his villainy, Sicily's Leonardo Sciascia hilariously spoofs impostors and imposture and etches a bitter likeness of sunny Sicily's .
  • Such unrepentant imposture, although common enough, was not practised last week in Paris, when a banquet consisting chiefly of horse, donkey and mule meat was set before three .
  • They marshal their pornography under a variety of shams: some affecting the disguise of wit, some the imposture of art.
News & Articles

  • The Strange Case of Paul de Man
    Peter Brooks The Double Life of Paul de Man by Evelyn Barish In The Talented Mr. Ripley , Patricia Highsmith created high drama from imposture: the almost unbearable tension of suspense that comes with living a double life. That novel seems to have inspired Evelyn Barish’s notion of how to write the biography of Paul de Man. “With every passing year,” she tells us of de Man in the 1950s, “he ...
    March 10, 2014 - New York Review of Books

  • William Hazlitt in Globe and Mail
    As William Hazlitt wrote, "It is an attempt to tear off the mask of imposture from the world; and nothing but imposture has a right to complain of it."
  • Adam Smith in Boston Globe (registration)
    In "The Wealth of Nations" in 1776, the groundbreaking economist Adam Smith argued that competition in spirituality was as healthy as in business, moderating the "mixture of absurdity, imposture, or fanaticism" in many sects to create "that...

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