Marginal Footnotes


Shafer on Plagiarism
April 27, 2006, 7:00 pm
Filed under: Literary, Media, Uncategorized

Jack Shafer in Slate has an article on this Viswanathan plagiarism scandal.  He says what I said two days ago, which either means I'm supersmart or the captain of the obvious. Probably the latter. 

'Viswanathan tells the New York Times that the 29 cited instances in which she lifted from another novelist's language for her novel were "unintentional and unconscious."

Please! Pinching one or two phrases from another book in the course of writing a 320-page novel might be accidental. But by the time a novelist does it 29 times, the effort is transparently intentional and conscious. Unless, of course, Viswanathan composed her entire novel during Ambien-induced sleep-writing episodes.'

But, of course, Shafer, being much smarter than I am, does a whole funny run-down of plagiarism, which you should read, because Slate is great.  He does not, however, reckon with my 'influence' defense.  His peice deals almost exclusively with plagiarism in academia, non-fiction, or journalism.  Jack, what about fiction?     

–mpd  

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