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Posted by on Oct 11, 2012 in Books, Curiosities, Intellectual Property |

The Strange Case of Quentin Rowan and the book written with plagiarism

The Strange Case of Quentin Rowan and the book written with plagiarism

In the February 2012 issue, The New Yorker published a piece about Quentin Rowan, a compulsive writer accused of plagiarism. In fact, the history of this character takes time hanging around the net, but this version is the one I liked. I came to the story by chance, and if they have about 15 or 20 minutes, they should read the entire piece . If you are short of time, or prefer to know what the article before you face him, I’ll tell you why I called so much attention.

is the author of Assassin of Secrets, a novel about spies. A week after it was published, the book received much criticism for plagiarism. It started as a writer Jeremy Duns was alerted to this situation through a complaint in a forum for fans of James Bond. A reader pointed out that there was a whole piece of Licence Renewed by John Gardner. This prompted more people to look at the work of Rowan. The blogger Edward Champion once numbered up to 35 different sources , as well as passages copied from reports of the National Security Agency, issued during the 1960s.

What is striking in the literature of Rowan (not only in this book but in his other works), it always resorted to plagiarism. However, it has captivated me-there is no other way to describe it, the way an individual can create an entire book just cuts from different authors, making them fit with minimal changes (mostly the names of the characters) to not only consistent with, but that are a work attractive enough for a publisher to publish anime.

In the New Yorker piece, Rowan admits he never intended to create a mash-up. However, on one hand, the author Lizzie Widdicombe indicates a significant nuance in your case:

The unique thing about the case of Rowan is that he could have obtained a degree of social permission simply being honest about it borrow from other writers (…) or claiming he was producing work “goal.” We live in an era of sampling , from “Pride and Prejudice and Zombies” to the remixes of Skrillex. “We love the remakes. We love the makeup. “Said literary theorist Avital Ronell when asked about the case. She suggested that Rowan “could have used a dream team of literary theorists out of the problem.”

Beyond Rowan’s intention was never to create a hybrid of this nature, I do I see merit in what he did. It must be easy to create a novel based on consistent only isolated fragments. Moreover, I am sure that if Rowan had cried suggesting Ronell, talking about innovation, not necessarily of plagiarism. If the latter is considered, it is because the author had intended to claim the work as their own. But is not the sole issue, for lack of a more precise term-work of that material a plausible? Can not look like a healing content, emerged as a new work entirely on the copy?

Rowan’s saved many when he swallowed the blame, but the truth is that (unconsciously) pushed the limits of literary creation. Does this form of expression can be described as “writing”? If there are musicians who create their own songs by cutting and pasting fragments of other, does it accept the same in literature? How about the videos or short films made with third parties? Could a director putting together a film with scenes from other movies, so that are consistent, and be considered as cinematography?

The Rowan is unusual not only for its compulsion to plagiarism, but also because we bank to rethink the role of these situations in artistic creation. Rowan Is a visionary or just a copycat unconscious without merit? Will it inspire someone more to do similar work? I do not know: perhaps this literature mitómano needed to reconsider its scope and limitations.

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