On Being a Plagiarist/Butler Dead/Celebrating Beckett/Prince Maurice Shortlist/Homage to Greatness/What’s Art?

March 1, 2006

Bloglogo.jpgOn Being a Plagiarist?
In an essay for the Weekly Standard, Joseph Epstein discusses the fine line separating a writers search for a new idea or technique from another writer and plagiarism. He writes: “Over many decades of scribbling, I have on a few occasions been told that some writer, even less original than I, had lifted a phrase or an idea of mine without attribution. I generally took this a mild compliment. Now, though, at long last, someone has plagiarized me, straight out and without doubt. The theft is from an article of mine about Max Beerbohm, the English comic writer.”

Octavia Butler Dead
At 58, Octavia Butler fell and struck her head on a cobbled walk outside her home. She died. She published her first novel, Kindred, in 1979. A black woman travels back in time to save a Southern white man. She won numerous awards, including the genius grant from the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation in 1995. For more details, read Gene Johnson’s Associated Press story. Marcia Davis called her “a lonely, bright star of the Sci-Fi Universe.”

Celebrating Beckett
He started his waiting about a century ago, and the Guardian is celebrating by asking friends, collaborators, and admirers to write about Samuel Beckett. This past Sunday, Francis Stuart wrote about their school-days at Trinity College.

Prince Maurice Shortlist
“Louise Dean, Joana Briscoe, and Ben Markovits are on the shortlife for Le Prince Maurice, a prize which rewards ‘the liteary equivalent of soul music’ with a two-week luxury break in the sun.” That’s the report from Michelle Pauli.

Homage Paid to Greatness
Peter Marks stands over the shoulders of Aaron Posner, the conservator of the Folger Shakespeare Library, and watches how he measures out his care for a manuscript almost three centuries old.

What’s Art?
In a recent posting, philosopher Thomas Pogge delves into the question: Can acts of terrorism, as choreographed performances of something, be considered art?

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