Saturday, February 24, 2018

Battle about plagiarism on Facebook; Francine Prose speaks for earlier work, now copied.

From the Guardian:

Not different enough, according to a series of barbed Facebook posts by the novelist and critic Francine Prose. That “debt”, she wrote, “is a scene by scene, plot-turn by plot-turn, gesture by gesture, line-of-dialogue by line-of-dialogue copy – the only major difference being that the main characters here are Pakistanis in Connecticut during the Trump era instead of Canadians in post WW-II Geneva.” Prose, a devotee of Gallant’s fiction, went on to lament that her work “is now so unread” that Shepard could “claim to have written what’s essentially her story and publish it in the New Yorker”.

Prose’s post incited a war of words. Among those commenting on her Facebook page were Meg Rosoff, Richard Bausch, and Shepard herself, defending her position – a defence Prose described in reply as “naive”. By the logic of those supporting Shepard, Prose went on, “I can take anything ever written, no matter how complex, reproduce every scene, and simply change the names and ethnicities of the characters and it will be ‘my’ story. Seriously? Then why should we even bother having copyright laws?

link to Guardian piece:


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