Busytown by Jolisa Gracewood

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Busytown: A turn-up for the books

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  • Craig Ranapia,

    CK Stead weighs in very critically on both Ihimaera but most especially the university that employs them both.

    Excellent points well made by Stead, but to be a little pedantic he took early retirement from Auckland University, with the title of Professor Emeritus, in the 80's. (Either just before or after the publication of All Visitors Ashore, I believe.)

    Still, as I said elsewhere, I don't think Stead would say that plagiarising sections of his novel Mansfield would be any less serious an offence against literary probity than plagiarism in a scholarly essay or in his edition of Mansfield's journals and letter.

    And I know someone who was one of his students back in the day, and yes, let's just say he was someone who'd never give a 'gentleman's pass' to a shoddy piece of work. She said that Stead could be intimidating -- and even a bit of a prick -- but you'd never question that he took literature and his teaching extremely seriously. If he was a hard arse, it was because he thought you could handle it and the ideals and standards of scholarship really mattered.

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 12073 posts Report Reply

  • giovanni tiso,

    Yes, sorry, I should have said where they are both emeritus professors. Or is it emeriti?

    Only Peter can get away with phrases like "poltroons of pusillaniousness" ...

    Especially since it should be pusillanimousness. Seems appropriate to link to the post which is here.

    Wellington • Since Jun 2007 • 7412 posts Report Reply

  • philipmatthews,

    Especially since it should be pusillanimousness.

    Thanks for that. His typo corrected.

    Christchurch • Since Nov 2007 • 646 posts Report Reply

  • Paul Litterick,

    More from Peter Wells here

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 1000 posts Report Reply

  • Scott A,

    Wonder how the Arts Foundation peeps feel about the use of their laurete prize money to buy back and pulp this novel? Sure, maybe Ihimaera isn't using their money per se, but that's how it looks from this vantage point.

    The wilds of Kingston, We… • Since May 2009 • 121 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia,

    Scott A:

    It sure doesn't help the Arts Foundation's brand, to coin a phrase.

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 12073 posts Report Reply

  • andrew llewellyn,

    he Trowenna Sea: top-selling NZ fiction book for the last two weeks running. I dunno, people. Are you buying it?

    No, Ihimaera is though. Sounds like this run will sell out!

    Since Nov 2006 • 2075 posts Report Reply

  • Just thinking,

    In order for the Arts Foundation to award this prize required the suspense of reality, and the destruction of their own credibility.

    We all know it was wrong & so too the Arts Foundation, prior to the award. They awarded Witi anyway.

    When Hans Petrovic, the film critic for The Press cut & pasted from the Guardian. That was the end of his job there.

    Putaringamotu • Since Apr 2009 • 1147 posts Report Reply

  • Michael Stevens,

    I always lower students' grades and explain why if I find plagiarism. I also show them how easy it is to acknowledge sources. And it is. First years get a sermon and a slap, but after that you're in trouble.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 229 posts Report Reply

  • giovanni tiso,

    When Hans Petrovic, the film critic for The Press cut & pasted from the Guardian. That was the end of his job there.

    birds can do it, bees can do it
    even Garth George can do it...
    let's do it, let's plagiarise

    Wellington • Since Jun 2007 • 7412 posts Report Reply

  • FletcherB,

    gio.....

    making a song fit a situation- fun.

    suggesting Garth George and educated fleas are interchangeable - Gold!

    West Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 801 posts Report Reply

  • Just thinking,

    Giovanni - what happened over Garth George?

    I also saw on the link the assertion that growing glaciers are a sign to disprove climate change.
    Not so.
    Current thought is that warming has increased melt so the glacier extends further down hill.

    Putaringamotu • Since Apr 2009 • 1147 posts Report Reply

  • giovanni tiso,

    Giovanni - what happened over Garth George?

    Take it away Hot Topic. Not a hot topic enough for the Herald editors it seems - GG is keeping his job.

    suggesting Garth George and educated fleas are interchangeable

    I don't recall saying educated.

    Wellington • Since Jun 2007 • 7412 posts Report Reply

  • Ngaire BookieMonster,

    Sadly, no copies have yet come up for sale on Trade Me.

    At the foot of Mt Te Aroh… • Since Nov 2009 • 173 posts Report Reply

  • Just thinking,

    The Arts Foundation selection process has a spelling mistake in it, but aside from that I know nothing about the process.

    http://www.artsfoundation.org.nz/about01.html

    Putaringamotu • Since Apr 2009 • 1147 posts Report Reply

  • Hilary Stace,

    Bought the last copy at my local book shop this morning. Assistant had to ring up to see if she was allowed to sell it but all OK. Will be my Christmas treat reading.

    Wgtn • Since Jun 2008 • 2157 posts Report Reply

  • Ian Dalziel,

    Anything Goes...

    birds can do it, bees can do it
    even Garth George can do it...
    let's do it, let's plagiarise

    Gio - a great looney
    poltroon tune...
    or is it a timiditty?

    Christchurch • Since Dec 2006 • 5169 posts Report Reply

  • Carol Stewart,

    From the incomparableTom Lehrer:

    Lobachevsky

    "Plagiarise
    Let no-one else's work evade your eyes
    Remember why the Good Lord made your eyes
    So don't shade your eyes and
    Plagiarise, plagiarise, plagiarise"

    Christchurch • Since Jul 2008 • 665 posts Report Reply

  • giovanni tiso,

    My name in Dnepropetrovsk is cursed,
    When he finds out I published first

    Are just about my two favourite lines in any song ever.

    Wellington • Since Jun 2007 • 7412 posts Report Reply

  • Bart Janssen,

    So, just how stupid does he think we are?

    I don't think that's it. It's not that he thinks we are stupid instead he is just unable to say
    "Sorry I fucked up, I never should have done that, you all have my sincerest apologies and the book will immediately be withdrawn."

    Some folks just can't bring themselves to admit a failure and need to find weasel words to avoid feeling at fault themselves.

    The end result is the same, the book is off the shelves and hopefully will make good compost and Prof I. can pretend to himself he has done nothing inherently wrong.

    And the U of A can pretend they have standards.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 3458 posts Report Reply

  • Rich of Observationz,

    Hang on though, who's the victim of Ihimaera's crimes?

    The authors of the books quoted? Have they sued for copyright infringement? Or is a quote (especially of reported historical dialogue) fair use, even if unattributed?

    The readers and purchasers? Does the fact it isn't Witi's work make the book less enjoyable?

    The greater NZ public? For thinking he's smarter than he really is?

    Back in Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 4501 posts Report Reply

  • giovanni tiso,

    The integrity of the process?

    Wellington • Since Jun 2007 • 7412 posts Report Reply

  • philipmatthews,

    Hang on though, who's the victim of Ihimaera's crimes?

    The authors of the books quoted? Have they sued for copyright infringement? Or is a quote (especially of reported historical dialogue) fair use, even if unattributed?

    I dare you to open one of these "what-is-plagiarism-and-why-is-it-a-crime?" cans of worms at this stage. I write as a veteran of last weekend's PA plagiarism wars ...

    Christchurch • Since Nov 2007 • 646 posts Report Reply

  • Stephen Judd,

    I think it's worth pointing out that Lobachevsky was in no way a plagiarist -- Lehrer just like the way "Nikolai Ivanovich Lobachevsky was his name!" scanned.

    Pro tip: if you're going to baselessly slander a mathematician in your humorous song, pick a dead one.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 2977 posts Report Reply

  • Creon Upton,

    Thomas Pynchon it is not.

    Interestingly, Pynchon has been known to make extremely elaborate use of others' work, but in a genuinely imaginative way. Eg the North Africa bits in V apparently owe a lot to an old Baedeker he'd picked up; and, equally apparently, heaps of the historical and rocket-science detail in Gravity's Rainbow can be traced to a couple of books he kept at his side during writing. But what he did with that material was, like, creative.

    Note the "apparently"s above: these are my somewhat vague memories from things I've read.

    And a bit of Mason & Dixon is lifted almost entirely unaltered from Charles Mason's journal, but it is credited as such by the narrator. Wow: no need for a footnote, just, um, prose.

    Christchurch • Since Aug 2007 • 68 posts Report Reply

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