Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Plagiarism


Kaavya Viswanathan's apology yesterday is not going to be the end of it. The Harvard Crimson reports on a statement from Random House, the publisher of Megan McCafferty's Sloppy Firsts and Second Helpings. Here is a key quote:

... We have documented more than forty passages from Kaavya Viswanathan's [novel] ... that contain identical language and/or common scene or dialogue structure from Megan McCafferty's first two books. ... This extensive taking from Ms. McCafferty's books is nothing less than an act of literary identity theft.

A kind of meta-analysis in the Harvard Independent seeks to answer these questions:

Viswanathan’s explanation certainly sounds reasonable — what young writer hasn’t been inspired, perhaps to the point of slavish imitation, by the work of a particularly affecting role model? But was McCafferty truly such a figure for Viswanathan?

It goes on to raise serious doubts about Kaavya's story, by looking for -- and not finding -- the two words that should have appeared in her recent utterings about her literary influences: Megan McCafferty.

* * *

Via Albert Krishna Ali, we have a link to a plagiarism scandal in the Indian subcontinent of the blogosphere. Shilpa Bhatnagar, the victim who uncovered this scam, links to another post by Anuradha Ganapathy, who used the same online tool to discover that one of her posts has been plagiarized.

* * *

The Harvard Independent has another story with speculation about how much of the plagiarism might be due to Kaavya Viswanathan's 'handlers' and 'packagers'.

1 Comments:

  1. Anant said...

    All this stuff got me thinking,
    but I can hardly put it better
    than the last sentence of
    this article