martes, mayo 08, 2007

Del plagio y su multiplicación

Cuesta creer que la revista Cosas aún no haya dado la cara por el vergonzoso (principalmente por el tema) plagio que hizo de la revista neoyorquina Radar, ni que su corresponsal haya dado señales de arrepentimiento. Este artículo de Slate reseña como se han masificado las acusaciones de plagio, entre ellas las que está enfrentando el escritor peruano Alfredo Bryce Ecehnique e intenta llegar al porqué de esta "caza de brujas" moderna. Incluso se justifica el fenómeno -especialmente en la literatura- por el culto que hoy existe a la originalidad. En el periodismo, el fuerte ingreso de internet como medio de información también ha multiplicado las alertas sobre esta situación, del que es imposible sentirse seguro. Michael Kelly, uno de los grandes editores estadounidenses, cargó toda su vida, hasta su muerte en Irak en 2003, con más de 30 artículos inventados (o plagiados) por un periodista suyo mientras fue editor del New Republic. Evidentemente el tema no está en la los riesgos, sino en la capacidad de responder a la falta de controles, al exceso de energía de algunos periodistas y al poca pericia de los editores. Y finalmente a la decente decisión de pedir disculpas.

Por Meghan O'Rourke
We may know pornography when we see it, but the same can't be said of plagiarism. Ever since it was revealed last month that several passages in Ian McEwan's Atonement closely resemble sections of Lucilla Andrews' World War II memoir, No Time For Romance, critics have debated whether the similarities constitute wholesale "plagiarism" or mere literary "discourtesy." The one thing everyone does agree on, apparently, is the necessity of policing plagiarism, whatever it may be. A partial list of authors recently accused (rightly or wrongly) includes Dan Brown, Yann Martel, Kaavya Viswanathan, J.K. Rowling, playwright Bryony Lavery, Doris Kearns Goodwin, Stephen Ambrose, and Alan Dershowitz. In an op-ed in early 2003, Condoleezza Rice even cited Saddam Hussein's habitual plagiarism as evidence of the leader's fundamental treachery.

Our distaste for plagiarism is usually framed in terms of our affection for originality. "We prize originality above everything and place a high value on novelty of expression," Robert McCrum wrote in the Observer, examining the outcry over McEwan. In The Little Book of Plagiarism, an engaging new study of the concept, law professor and Judge Richard A. Posner attributes today's "increasing attention" to plagiarism largely to a "cult of originality" first shaped by the Romantics—who venerated individual genius—and further intensified by a 21st-century modern market economy that values novelty in its "expressive works." Obviously, originality does have something to do with all the fuss: Most of us expect writers—especially novelists and poets—to have a distinctive voice and literary style.

We carve out exceptions for writers like Shakespeare—a plagiarist by modern-day standards—because they are creative in their use of borrowed material; such copying isn't "slavish" but inventive, or, as Posner puts it, "The imitation is producing value." Those who don't recontextualize borrowed work—like Kaavya Viswanathan—we censure.


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7:14 p. m.  
Blogger Diana dijo...

Richard Allen Posner (born January 11, 1939, in New York City) is currently a judge on the United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit. He is one of the most influential living legal theorists and a major voice in the law and economics movement, which he helped start while a professor at the University of Chicago Law School. He currently serves as a lecturer at the Law School. sportsbook, Posner is the author of nearly 40 books on jurisprudence, legal philosophy, and several other topics, including The Problems of Jurisprudence; Sex and Reason; Overcoming Law; Law, Pragmatism and Democracy; and The Problematics of Moral and Legal Theory.

6:09 p. m.  

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