Afterword  pp. 232-238

Afterword

By William Ian Miller

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This journey through the land of faking it has been something of an antipilgrimage, it having no earthly or celestial city as its end point. But it is only an antipilgrimage because there is no exit, no real conclusion to the journey. As for worshipfulness, though, there is plenty. The book is an homage to the extraordinary richness and deep interestingness of the most mundane matters in psychic and social life. We did indeed get mired in the Slough of Despond, as when I contemplated the boundlessness of anti-Semitism, but for most of the time we settled in at Vanity Fair, taking day trips into its suburbs and nature preserves (which are testimonies to man getting nature to fake it too). The tour guide obviously is not Bunyan's Christian. He is, instead, a wandering, and occasionally a meandering, Jew. Yet I bet his sensibility is not unfamiliar to most readers.

I have taken “faking it” colloquially. I have tried to let the notion exfoliate as it does in conversation, the style revelatory and expansive rather than strictly logical and restrictive. If the exposition appears at times to proceed by free association, that freeness is, trust me, contrived. I have not so much set out to prove a thesis as to give the reader, as I indicated in the introduction, a feel for the terrain, for the custom of the country. The point of the book is that faking it is no simple point, but many points.

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