May 2nd, 2006

book and glasses

A good quote for the day

sciamanna just posted something that I think should be more widely disseminated. So I'm passing it on.

"The only dream worth having [...] is to dream that you will live while you're alive and die only when you're dead."
"Which means exactly what?" [...]
"To love. To be loved. To never forget your own insignificance. To never get used to the unspeakable violence and the vulgar disparity of life around you. To seek joy in the saddest places. To pursue beauty to its lair. To never simplify what is complicated or complicate what is simple. To respect strength, never power. Above all, to watch. To try and understand. To never look away. And never, never, to forget."

From Arundhati Roy, "The End of Imagination", in The Algebra of Infinite Justice
Jin Shei Cover from sgreer

The plagiarism waters deepen...

One sincerely hopes that poor Kaavya has an alternative career path in mind, because - at least under her own name - she will never be allowed to be a writer again. At least not without everyone eagerly perusing anything new she might get published, in a vulture-like race to see who might spot the NEXT plagiarised bit first. The simple truth is that she'll never be trusted as "original" again.

But I've always thought there was more to it than that, ever since I learned that there was a book packager involved and that not even full copyright rested with our young Harvard prodigy. And lookee here:

Which does make you think. And if this kind of company went out and used an eager 19-year-old as a human shield to take the flak should they get nabbed in the act of riding roughshod over copyright, that's criminal. If I were Kaavya, I'd be seriously considering legal action at this point. What has she got to lose? Her own reputation has already been shot. Whether or not she ACTIVELY had anything to do with the actual copyright infringements, it seems clear that the packagers at the very least share the blame if not shoulder the lion's share of it. If I were her I would not go down in flames alone.

But they picked well. She's NINETEEN. SHe might well be at Harvard, but her resources (the half-mil advance notwhithstandign) have got to be limited - or at least limited enough for any potential action to have to be weighed very carefully.

WHere's Oprah when you need her...?


And it continues.

Not only has the entire publishing deal been pulled, with all that this entails, but her name is now sufficently mud for THIS to happen:

Meanwhile, The Record of Bergen County said Tuesday that it will review the news articles Visvanathan wrote for the 180,000-circulation daily paper in northern New Jersey while an intern in 2003 and 2004.

Editor Frank Scandale said The Record, which has written several of its own articles about the plagiarism allegations, will hire a service to vet the dozen or so light features she wrote while one of about 18 interns at the paper.

Oy vey.