Monday, May 08, 2006

Opal Mehta thoughts...

The plagiarism, which occurred in Opal Mehta by author Kaavya Viswanathan, has really got me thinking. Just how easy is it to claim something as original though?

Viswanathan has already admitted some of the work is word-for-word from Megan McCafferty. She being a Harvard graduate should know better…

I have a similar annoyance with a sentence I wrote on this blog February 26th. My sentence, found at the bottom of the entry, is…For when the child’s bedtime prayer becomes the adult’s touchstone in crises, habits have meaning.

I know exactly where the idea came from. So many truths came from A Year of Magical Thinking that I remember relating them to other books read around that time. Is this sentence word-for-word from Didion’s book or did I write original text? I really don’t know.

Why didn’t Viswanathan reread McCafferty? She had to know things sounded a little familiar. You had better believe if I was publishing a book I would reread Didion to see if my memory was word-for-word.

Plagiarism is a form of stealing and Viswanathan is a thief. Am I for publishing that sentence on Maggie Reads without researching the origin?

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