Tuesday, May 02, 2006

Plagiarism and prostitutes

So it seems that the Little Author Who Could really couldn't. First, Kaavya Viswanathan was found to have plagiarized passages from another author for her book "Opal". She even went so far as to admit it, but said it was "unconscious and unintentional". Well, there's always that chance that errors were made, and that somehow reading another's work caused full sentences and paragraphs to enter into your head and make it seem as though it was your own work. Heck, people might even be close to willing to forgive if it turns out it was just from one author, who maybe you happen to enjoy quite a bit.

But now to find out that she plagiarized ANOTHER author? Again, taking passages, altering them ever-so-slightly, and passing them off as her own? From the sounds of things, "Opal" wasn't so much a work of fiction as it was a research paper on the genre with an incomplete bibliography. Oh, with some artistic license thrown in. After all, this isn't "The Princess Bride", where Goldman admitted to translating as best he could, and then omitting the "boring parts" (nevermind the detail that S. Morgenstern was a pseudonym created by Goldman for the book... he "translated" something that had never existed). This is supposed to be her own creation... one that netted her a pretty penny from the publisher.

In other news of the day, we also find out that one of the top CIA officials (actually, third from the top... doesn't get too much higher than that) is pretty intricately connected with Congressman Randall "Duke" Cunningham. Given that the Duke was recently sentenced on a whole bunch of bribery charges, and that Kyle "Dusty" Foggo actually oversaw some of the contracts for companies involved in the bribery scandal, I'd say it goes pretty far to say that Number 3 had his hands in a very messy pie. Of course, the CIA is "looking into assertions" and that they are in no way "lending credibility to any allegation". Oh yeah, and Dusty gets to keep his job.

Hmm... Duke and Dusty. Sounds like characters from a buddy comedy. Set in Oz (the prison, not the fantasy setting).

Oh, and to Ms. Viswanathan. See those little quotation marks up there? That's how you denote when you're using someone else's words.

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