Wednesday, June 28, 2006

I read the verbatim copies

.. on the Harvard Crimson.

After Wriju's comment, I did go and read the verbatim passages - on the original source.

You want to know what the verbatim passages are about?
Here goes:
1. A girl needs to be either brainy or pretty.
(Whats original about that thought?? Jane Austen said it!!)

2. To have a best friend who lives closeby was good enough till we got older and she had her boyfriends.
(Wow! hallelujah!! No one ever knew that we make childhood friends like that and it gets complicated as we grow up. What a Eureka discovery!!)

3. From page 237 of McCafferty’s first novel: “Finally, four major department stores and 170 specialty shops later, we were done.” From page 51 of Viswanathan’s novel: “Five department stores, and 170 specialty shops later, I was sick of listening to her hum along to Alicia Keys....”

(You decide what is so original about departmental stores and shops.. other than the magical figure of 170. That matches, yes, but i didnt know anyone had the copyright to 170. hey, please tell me all the other numbers under copyright!)

4. He was invading my personal space(in a car) and Kaavya puts it in a room.
(Guys, all psychology text books and books on PD with concepts of personal space, are out!)

5. The guy wants me as a platonic friend.
(when was the last time someone wanted someone else as a platonic friend?? Let me guess... every book on Chic-lit.. and yes, The bridge across forever has a passage where Richard Bach is convinced that Leslie is a perfect platonic friend and that is how he wants it. )

The point is this: All the so called "copying" is nothing but common nouns juxtaposed in an even more common grammatical formation. How else do you say these things?? I would like the originals to comment.. how do i say it if i want to say we went shopping and finished all the shops on an avenue.. maybe close to 200!! then, will you say that the difference between 170 and 200 shops is not enough.


Chiya said...

well... my point again..

There isnt anything in the writing which can actually provoke so much of controversy.
It is just the kind of money involve.

Or may be, we are on a different platform.

Wriju said...

McCafferty writes on page 6 of her first novel: “Sabrina was the brainy Angel. Yet another example of how every girl had to be one or the other: Pretty or smart. Guess which one I got. You’ll see where it’s gotten me.”

Viswanathan writes on page 39 of her novel: “Moneypenny was the brainy female character. Yet another example of how every girl had to be one or the other: smart or pretty. I had long resigned myself to category one, and as long as it got me to Harvard, I was happy. Except, it hadn’t gotten me to Harvard. Clearly, it was time to switch to category two.”

There are obvious changes to the original passage. But the copy is unmistakeable. It may even be a silly, harmless piece of writing to copy. But what's wrong in admitting your sources.

Let me give you an example.

TS Eliot's Wasteland has hundreds of references to Dante, Shakespeare etc. The allusions to these texts are just subliminal - his work is very original. Words such as "April is the cruelest month of the year" or "the sky is spread like an etherised patient on a table" overturn centuries of poetic convention that consistently depict April and Sky very romantically.
And guess what TS Eliot admits every one of his sources in his lengthy notes. Yes even insignificant ones. It is protocol to do so, no matter how original your work :-)

Tell me no more of enchanted days said...

hmmm..guess i'm not the only one then..

Rajesh Rana said...


check out the links at other blogs its not working...

How do we know said...

hi Chiya: We think alike on this one!
Hi Wriju: The problem is that the concept of a girl having to be original or pretty is age old.. even Jane Austen said it. And before her our great great great... grandmothers. So, who is the original source here: Jane Austen or my ancestor of a grandmother. The same is true of all other chicklit stuff copied.

I perfectly agree with you that credit, where its due, must be given. My objection is against demanding credit on generic contexts and passages.All sources must be identified where applicable, because the Western thought, which is the current thought, requires it.

To me personally, no one person is the source. Because nothing, really, is that original.

Hi Tell me no more: We never are the only ones doing anything :-)

Hi Rajesh: Which ones are not working please?? And thanks for poiting it out.