Pagès studied philosophy at University and worked as a high school teacher until 1985.
At Le Canard enchaîné, his humorous columns included Le Journal de Xavière T, a spoof diary of Xavière Tiberi, the wife of Jean Tiberi, then mayor of Paris, and, from December 2007, Le Journal de Carla B, a spoof diary of Carla Bruni, wife of President Nicolas Sarkozy.
The last of these was the subject of controversy when Karl Laske and Laurent Valdiguié published a book Vrai Canard, which alleged that the spoof diary was written by Pierre Charon, a political advisor to the French government, and used to pass on political messages. The editor of Le Canard enchaîné, Michel Gaillard, quickly debunked this claim by naming Frédéric Pagès as the writer.
Pagès has written two books of spoof philosophy under the name of a fictional philosopher, Jean-Baptiste Botul:
- La vie sexuelle d'Emmanuel Kant [The Sex Life of Emmanuel Kant]. Éditions Mille et une nuits. 1999. ISBN 2-84205-424-5.
- Nietzsche ou le démon de midi [Nietzsche, or The Midday Demon]. Éditions Mille et une nuits. 2004. ISBN 2-84205-873-9.
He founded the "Association of Friends of Jean-Baptiste Botul" to promote this fictitious philosopher and his school of "Botulism". In 2010, the hoax caught out the well-known TV philosopher Bernard-Henri Lévy, whose book De la guerre en philosophie used Botul as the primary source for his attack on Kant.
- Un brevet de “bon philosophe” décerné par BHL est un cadeau empoisonné, Charlie enchaîné, 9 February 2010, from Le Canard enchaîné of 10 February 2010.
- Doreen Carvajal. "Philosopher Left to Muse on Ridicule Over a Hoax", The New York Times, 9 February 2010.
- Works by or about Frédéric Pagès in libraries (WorldCat catalog)
- Works by or about Jean-Baptiste Botul in libraries (WorldCat catalog)
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