Tuesday, October 23, 2007

A literary simoom...

…jolts academia as a number of heretofore well-respected authors of considerable repute – Steven Ambrose and Doris Kearns Goodwin foremost among them - go down in flames for plagiarizing from their distinguished colleagues. There’s a lot of it going around.

Such nonsense, I tell you. At NFTD we’d look upon the practice as nothing short of reprehensible, why, indeed, righteous denunciation of the guilty parties is a necessary part of the hygiene of critics like me and greatly enhances the circulation of our blood, it’s a fact.

Like everything else it’s politics and everyone knows real politics has little to do with morality. Mr. Ambrose and Ms Goodwin should not necessarily have known better but rather should have devised a, shall we say, more clever means by which to evade getting caught.

Theirs to ponder indefinitely the breadth of their errors, theirs to replay over and again how they managed to ease into their subjects so endearingly but ended up by shoving every subject they touched into a virtual jungle of disoriented syntax – much in the fashion of NFTD I might add while lamenting this overt plagiarism – and squeezing out every ray of light and choking out every breath of fresh air…for shame, all of you! (With apologies to V. S. Naipaul, Logan Piersall-Smith and William F. Buckley Jr. from whom I plagiarized this screed, sort of…)

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