Busytown by Jolisa Gracewood

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Busytown: A turn-up for the books

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  • Lucy Stewart,

    What happened to now?

    We have newspapers for that.

    Amherst, MA • Since Nov 2006 • 2093 posts Report Reply

  • Jolisa,

    I'm guessing he has this on the wall of his writing studio.

    Wicked! Actual purple spheres!

    Which, as a correspondent of mine pointed out, are originally Tennyson's. (I'd attribute this connection, but they wish to remain anonymous).

    Auckland, NZ • Since Nov 2006 • 1427 posts Report Reply

  • richard,

    ur, 'great giant whales' eh?

    He says that in Whale Rider?

    I remember spotting "giant leviathan" -- I wondered at the time what a petite but perfectly formed leviathan would look like (and for all that I enjoyed the book).

    Not looking for New Engla… • Since Nov 2006 • 259 posts Report Reply

  • Islander,

    Nah, it's in Jolisa's quotation from "The Trowenna Sea."

    That's just awful writing-

    Big O, Mahitahi, Te Wahi … • Since Feb 2007 • 5643 posts Report Reply

  • Jolisa,

    

    Jolisa might be interested in the observation that plagiarism hunters historically have been a very poorly regarded group.

    Interested? Hmm, try mortified. I really didn't go looking for this; it found me. And it would have found somebody, sooner or later.

    Although, when it became clear that the initial 16 examples I found without looking very hard were not considered sufficient, I certainly did put on my hunting cap and went looking for bear. And found several more large furry specimens, some from sources unmentioned in the bibliography.

    The CBC program is indeed interesting, although it doesn't change my mind on this case, and reiterates most of the points that we've already collectively made. (Also, most of the musical examples, e.g. Brahms variations on Haydn's St Anthony's Chorale, are completely bogus as analogies to literature). Even the presenter, in teasing out a new and more forgiving notion of "borrowed" influences, states that "stealing another person's writing word for word, say, and then plunking it into a newspaper column or a term paper, is outright plagiarism, and it's bad."

    Also of use: Jonathan Lethem's argument that "there are standards of transparency, transformation, and reciprocity. ... How well did it do on those marks? That's how you're going to figure out if it's a good or a bad [appropriation]."

    I note too that Lethem says "let me engulf my influences," and, while talking about the variety of the influences on anything he writes, "I don't worry about originality when I talk about voice, I worry about pungency, versatility, excitement... I want the voice of anything I'm writing to have a quality of necessity, of energy, of expansiveness."

    I want that in a writer's voice, too, and it's really annoying when you can spot the seams as easily as I did. Like Lethem, I'd emphasise the "make" in "make it new."

    Look, I have no problem whatsoever making a nuanced argument for influence, homage, allusion, referentiality, intertextuality, hybridity, whatever you want to call it. I am all over that stuff, professionally and personally; I love it, I prize it, I seek it out.

    In my opinion, that's not what's going on here.

    (Love the Promiscuous Materials Project, though. That's different again.)

    Auckland, NZ • Since Nov 2006 • 1427 posts Report Reply

  • giovanni tiso,

    Yes, as I said I don't think it gets Ihimaera out of jail, but it was interesting - especially the transparency and reciprocity thing, the example of Paul Simon with Graceland (in the midst of so many other ban analogies) was quite good.

    Wellington • Since Jun 2007 • 7390 posts Report Reply

  • Islander,

    I was interested in T. K. Roxburgh's pov on Beattie's Blog - she's written "Banquo's Son" and so it's obviously derivative of an earlier story BUT - she also teaches, and her comments are salutary.

    More & more I'm finding the Arts Foundation's culpable stupidity - irritating. Somebody mentioned 'hurt the brand' further upthread.
    I've always felt that the institution was shallow, but after this little effort I think it has achieved puddledom (I know 2 elderly Oamaru people who were going to donate in their wills - aint gonna do that no more.)

    Big O, Mahitahi, Te Wahi … • Since Feb 2007 • 5643 posts Report Reply

  • Just thinking,

    "culpable stupidity" - love it and far more likely than a conspiracy. I'll obliquely refference & use it at the Resource Consent for the UC School of Music at the Arts Centre.

    Putaringamotu • Since Apr 2009 • 1147 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha,

    Didn't the Foundation select their winners long before this storm blew up?

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 16838 posts Report Reply

  • Just thinking,

    Good point Sacha.
    So after the act but before the discovery & subsequent announcement of the award.
    Still this is about excellence and plagarism.

    Putaringamotu • Since Apr 2009 • 1147 posts Report Reply

  • philipmatthews,

    Didn't the Foundation select their winners long before this storm blew up?

    They did, but they seem to have discussed whether or not to revoke it, as in the Herald story from Wednesday:

    Ihimaera had told the foundation of the plagiarism claim before it became public and it did generate discussion among the selectors.

    However, Mr [Arts Foundation executive director Simon] Bowden said those things weren't enough to change their minds because Ihimaera was an artist whose writing had been enjoyed by generations. Though Mr Bowden had had only positive reaction from those he had spoken to about the issue, he accepted there could be some adverse feedback from the arts community. He believed most would congratulate the Arts Foundation on carrying on with the award.

    Christchurch • Since Nov 2007 • 642 posts Report Reply

  • Islander,

    Sacha - who knows *how* they select their Chosen Ones?
    They're very keen on having aforesaid COs say it was by a jury of *their peers* but the selection process - and who selects who- is extremely opaque.
    I'd suggest - given they'e a rightwing outfit- all COs are dependent on their standing within the mindsets of a secretive group of rich buggers.

    Big O, Mahitahi, Te Wahi … • Since Feb 2007 • 5643 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha,

    Thanks for clarifying, Philip.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 16838 posts Report Reply

  • Islander,

    And the fact that *they* were prepared to ignore Ihimaera's plaigerism says - everything.

    Big O, Mahitahi, Te Wahi … • Since Feb 2007 • 5643 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha,

    dependent on their standing within the mindsets of a secretive group of rich buggers

    Isn't that just the basis of commercial art? And of public funding for the classical/ballet/oils which thrill a socioeconomic group who could easily pay their own way.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 16838 posts Report Reply

  • Islander,

    Yaaas, Sacha - but this was an organisation set up to do away with all government funding of 'the arts' and turn such funding into 'the Amercian model.'

    And just what kind of 'commercial art' are you thinking of???
    All art -even that done for the delectation of an individual - that becomes public & is used *is*commercial art.

    The "thrill a socioeconomic group who could easily pay their own way" has NOTHING to do with the creative people they are purportedly supporting.

    Big O, Mahitahi, Te Wahi … • Since Feb 2007 • 5643 posts Report Reply

  • Just thinking,

    Islander, it must have been another spelling mistake on the Arts Foundation website.
    They said peers they ment peerage, Knights & Dames, very American.

    Putaringamotu • Since Apr 2009 • 1147 posts Report Reply

  • Islander,

    just thinking- sweet! But of course - Yanks have always been into pseudo-royalty because they dont have their own- (except for Kennedys et al.)

    Big O, Mahitahi, Te Wahi … • Since Feb 2007 • 5643 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia,

    Ihimaera had told the foundation of the plagiarism claim before it became public and it did generate discussion among the selectors. [Emphasis added}

    Errr... you mean the "claim" you went on to publicly admit was, well, correct? Put a million weasels behind a million typewriters, and we have the 'perception management' shop that's got Witi, Penguin NZ and Auckland University on its client list.

    Got to agree with Peter Wells -- for someone who used to be a diplomat, he just doesn't know when to when to stop shoving feet in his mouth.

    However, Mr [Arts Foundation executive director Simon] Bowden said those things weren't enough to change their minds because Ihimaera was an artist whose writing had been enjoyed by generations.

    Oh fuck off. Doris Kearns Goodwin is an enormously successful historian (her most recent book, Team of Rivals: The Political Genius of Abraham Lincoln has a rather high-profile fan currently resident at 1600 Pensylvania Avenue, Washington DC), but after her own plagiarism controversy, I'd certainly view her work with extreme caution. And giving her a second Pulitzer Prize for History? Not on your life.

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 12046 posts Report Reply

  • Joe Wylie,

    Yanks have always been into pseudo-royalty because they dont have their own . . .

    So they improvise.

    Anyway, aren't most royalty pseuds?

    flat earth • Since Jan 2007 • 3587 posts Report Reply

  • Islander,

    It is really extraordinarily sad: here is an established author I've respected and admired for decades, literally, for his creative work and his energetic input into ANZ literature.

    And then, he craps all over his literary record, and all over himself.

    Maybe we just leave him there.

    Big O, Mahitahi, Te Wahi … • Since Feb 2007 • 5643 posts Report Reply

  • Islander,

    Joe Wylie - of course! I'm always amazed that presentday humans just dont go out and barbeque any royal/poseur.

    I'm really good on hangi/umukai too-

    Big O, Mahitahi, Te Wahi … • Since Feb 2007 • 5643 posts Report Reply

  • Just thinking,

    Tities are so seductive.
    The worthy just can't keep their hands off them.
    Opps, I mean titles.

    Putaringamotu • Since Apr 2009 • 1147 posts Report Reply

  • Islander,

    Freudian grip there Just thinking-

    Big O, Mahitahi, Te Wahi … • Since Feb 2007 • 5643 posts Report Reply

  • Just thinking,

    Thank you, err rather apologies.

    Putaringamotu • Since Apr 2009 • 1147 posts Report Reply

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