Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Let's Call It Cheating

First we had one after another journalist making up stories.

Then came James Frey.

Now we have Kaavya Viswanathan at Harvard, who has admitted to plagerising parts of her novel from two of another writer.

What is going on?  If you can’t write a story or memoir or novel by yourself then perhaps you’re in the wrong career.  Writing should be an internal process that is original.


  1. Preceding all others in time; first.
  2. Not derived from something else; fresh and unusual: an original play, not an adaptation.
  3. Productive of new things or new ideas; inventive: an original mind.

Is that so hard to understand?

The mind boggles.


Fran said...

...Apparently, that really is hard for many of today's "writers" to understand. Someone has clipped words/sentences/phrases off my blogs and put them onto his blog as if he'd thought of those ideas. When I publicly confronted him with this, his response was: he's for plagiarizing. I doubt I'm the only one he's done this too. He keeps getting award after award and publishing contract after publishing contract--all while getting the "original" tag from readers (!?!?!?).

If the literary world continually rewards people who have stolen, they're probably gonna keep stealing. Some people don't even consider plagiarizing stealing (I do), especially when it's web-plagiarizing. Maybe it's the nature of the net too: words are so easily available--and so physically easy to copy.

It seems that "writers" possessing little to no ideas of their own love plagiarizing. Plagiarizers make me sick.

ravaj said...

i feel it has a lot to do with the cultural understanding of the nature of success ... the end justifies the means ... plus there is the fudging of the moral boundaries - you get internet businesses that sell term papers, etc, and people being well-paid to write them ... and claiming there is nothing wrong with offering such products - it is the choice of the buyer whether or not to use them to cheat.

WordsRock said...

I think it's laziness. That and wanting a quick path to "success."

Yet how anyone can find it satisfying to take someone else's words and put their own name on them boggles my mind too. Personally, I'm far too vain for that. ;)