Tag Archives: shame

Plagiarism

AKIE BERMISS: In a story not unlike the Tavi narrative we dealt with last week, we’ve been drawn into a great debate over the nature of art by 17-year old Helene Hegemann and her critically-acclaimed and critically-decried new book, “Axolotl Roadkill.” Now, I haven’t read it and I so I can’t claim to have any understanding of whether her writing is excellent or piss-poor or whatever. But what we do know is she appears to have supplemented her own writing, in the book, with largely unattributed sections of other people’s writing. And when confronted with this accusation — on of blatant plagiarism — she counters with the excuse that she is merely “mixing” (as if she were a DJ or hiphop beat-maker).

Plagiarism is a simple crime. Like murder, you’ve either done it or you haven’t. Explain it away as you like: crime of passion, temporary insanity, self-defense. But at the end of the day — its done.

MOLLY SCHOEMANN: When I was 17 I also invented weak excuses for my objectionable behavior, and I gave them to anyone who would listen to me. It’s what high-school students do well (apparently along with novel-writing, when they’re permitted to steal passages from other authors). Continue reading

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