Stolen Words - The Classic Book on Plagiarism

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9780156011365: Stolen Words - The Classic Book on Plagiarism

"The definitive book on the subject" of plagiarism (The New York Times) is updated with a new afterword about the Internet.

What is plagiarism, and why is it such a big deal? Since when is originality considered an indispensable attribute of authorship? Stolen Words is a deft and well-informed history of the sin every writer fears from every angle. Award-winning author Thomas Mallon begins in the seventeenth century and pushes forward toward scandals in publishing, academia, and Hollywood, exploring the motivations, consequences, and emotional reverberations of an intriguing and distressingly widespread practice. In this now-classic study, Mallon proves himself to be one of our most versatile, original, and delightful writers.

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About the Author:

Thomas Mallon's books include the novels Henry and Clara, Two Moons, Dewey Defeats Truman, and Aurora 7; a collection of essays, In Fact; and his book on the assassination of JFK, Mrs. Paine's Garage. His work has appeared in The New Yorker, The New York Times Magazine, The American Scholar, and GQ. He received the National Book Critics Circle award for reviewing in 1998. The recipient of a 2000 Guggenheim Fellowship, he lives in Westport, Connecticut.

From Publishers Weekly:

Mallon, who examined diaries in A Book of One's Own , here probes the opposite end of the literary spectrum: plagiarism. Although ably researched and enthusiastic and clever in tone, the book has an uneasy mix of topics which may preclude its finding an audience. With a close comparison of texts, Mallon discusses suspicious similarities between the works of Victorian novelist and international copyright champion Charles Reade and Frenchwoman Charles Reybaud, the writings of Jayme Sokolow and fellow academic Stephen Nissenbaum in the 1970s and '80s, and Anita Clay Kornfeld's 1980 generational novel Vintage and TV's Falcon Crest. Even though they've read about the case in the New York Times et al., publishing folk will undoubtedly be most attuned to the accusations against Jacob Epstein, who apologized in print for phrases apparently lifted from Martin Amis's The Rachel Papers and integrated into Epstein's 1979 Wild Oats. Mallon concludes that literary predators often are repeat offenders and society usually is timid about prosecuting their crimes. He warns: "To see the writer's words kidnapped, to find them imprisoned, like changelings, on someone else's equally permanent page, is to become vicariously absorbed by violation."
Copyright 1989 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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