Monday, November 27, 2006

Copying flap involving Ian McEwan

from timesonline:

Plagiarism is the worst sin for any writer. True, critics of Ian McEwan have only argued that he “copied” the work of the “queen of the hospital romance”, Lucilla Andrews, but the implication amounts to the same thing.

“Booker prize-winning novelist is a fraud” is the message, with an unsung and now conveniently deceased author his secret weapon.

And yet: not quite. Despite the accusations aired in The Mail on Sunday yesterday [Nov. 26], it is admitted that there is an acknowledgement of Andrews’ work in Atonement, alongside acknowledgements of other sources. That, I find myself thinking, is what novelists do when they choose to take on historical subject matter: research is the name for this work.

Although not mentioned in the Times article, there is a saying: "Copy from one person and it's plagiarism, from many and it's research."

***Reuters noted-->
The former agent of Lucilla Andrews, Vanessa Holt, said that Andrews, who made a living from so-called "hospital romances", had been aware of the parallels between her autobiography and "Atonement" about a year before she died, after a student drew attention to them.

IPBiz notes that there was no Google or Turnitin here, but more the mechanism involved in "Opal Mehta."


Post a Comment

<< Home