Vantage point

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Poetic Hoodwink

People are lambasting Kaavya Viswanathan for plagiarising from another book. The lambasting is well-deserved, but I am surprised at how she landed such a lucrative deal for her book without this being detected earlier. Wouldn't you expect literary agents, publishers, and even folks Dreamworks SKG (who have acquired movie rights for the book) to be a little smarter and more well-informed than editors of a college newspaper? It took a Harvard college newspaper for Kaavya to be found out, whereas everyone else was showering cash her way.

Her apology itself is quite lame and insincere, saying the plagiarism happened unintentionally, and she had unknowlingly "internalised" McCafferty's work. If only college professors everywhere were as "enlighetend" as the agents, publishers and producers tricked by the sleight of hand, writing term papers would be so much easier.