Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Plagiarism....bad, bad very bad

She is 19, pretty and had the world at her feet. Signed $500,000 contract with her book publisher, got into Harvard and signed a movie contract. There was nothing else she could have asked for. Everyone was awed and slightly envious of the girl. Now the young author finds herself in the middle of a plagiarism allegation. She says that she was un-intentially influenced by the book. So un-intentially influenced that even some of the lines are similar as reported by NYT. It sounds similar to when a professor caught people cheating in my class (they even had the same typos).
I am sure things will work out in the end thanks to goddess Laxmi. But, will I ever pick her book up?


At 7:38 PM , Blogger Sarat said...

Wow. I wrote about the exact same thing yesterday.

Actually, it's kinda scary because I am sure we all write with the ghost of another writer behind us at some point or the other. Hell. It's English language and there are only so many different ways you can say something.

But the scary part is probably doing it and not realizing it. In her case though, I don't know what she was thinking when she wrote those similar sounding passages. Besides, she seems like an ABCD. And by default, I think ABCD teenagers don't really have much creativity or original thought. They'd have to try hard to prove otherwise to me. Heh! heh!

At 3:01 PM , Blogger Sib said...

Well, you don't write with a "ghost" of a writer, if you have copied twenty-nine passages from another author's book...and the passages are alsmost identical in sentence construction, plot, setting, etc. I thik kit was downright plagiarism.

That said, we're all influenced by the books that we read, and the movies that we see...but that doesn't mean that we copy to an exactness.

I know that when I started writing short stories, I really liked the styles of Roald Dahl, O'henry, Jeffrey Archer, Guy de Mauppasant, Checkovv, etc...I wanted to be like them...to write in their styles...but when I put pen to paper (well, actually fingers to keyboard) I realised that just copying a style leaves me a vageu feeling of dissatisfaction and incompleteness...somehow the story wasn't well-rounded...so I'd adapt as I write sentences and passages and what would turn out, was my own creation.

I think that Kavya was not entirely to blame...did you know that the editor who checked and approved her work, was also the same person who check and approved Ms. McCafferty's original works as well ? How come she didn't catch it ? Or was Kavya just a ghost writer asked in to fill in part s of the book ? We shall never know.

At 3:04 PM , Blogger Sib said...

I agree that in a particular language, there are only so many ways to say the same thing...but writing is still an art and not a science...for that reason alone, I think thousands of authors have come up with ingenious ways of presenting their thoughts, each unique in his/her own way...and will continue to do so in the future...I don't think that two different creative processes can come down to the exact same results...unless they tried. Heck, even when we write, the setting and the mood makes a difference. If I write something now, as opposed to two days later, the result will be different, unless I tired very hard to stiffle my thought processes...

At 9:57 PM , Blogger Sib said...

A new developement to the plagiarism case...

So, it appears that Ms. Vishwanathan did not really have a ghost in her mind or that it was unintentional...seems like she knew exactly what she was doing


Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home