Fascinating Plagarism Situation

A classic, or a fraud? – Los Angeles Times


Filed under Literature

2 responses to “Fascinating Plagarism Situation

  1. That link isn’t working for me…


  2. Megan Isaac

    I’ve read about this issue before, and it is hard for me to see Stegner’s actions as plagiarism of any degree. I understand plagiarism to be the unacknowledged borrowing of someone else’s words or ideas. Stegner acknowledged his use of sources; the fact that he obscured the specific identity of his source was in accordance with the wishes of his source’s family.

    Stegner just can’t win on this one. Were he have more explicitly explained his use of family documents, he would have violated agreements with the family (some of whom feel violated even with the agreements). Were he to have completely obscured his source and entirely protected the family, then he would have is to say this sort of mixed genre–fiction with a foundation in fact–been even more open to accusations of plagiarism. The only real option is out of bounds for artists. And that seems the most undesirable outcome of all!

    To accuse someone who clearly worked with his sources in reasonable good faith (he offered them prior review of his manuscript) of plagiarism demeans the significance of real plagiarism, in which the writer intends to deceive audiences and take credit for work not his or her own.

    Or, at least that’s my take on it!


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