Friday, August 22, 2014

Foreign writers have been visiting Tokyo since the 1860s, but for such a vast, thrilling and important city it has proved barren as a place of literary exile. Among those who made Japan their home, as well as their subject, there are to be found only minor talents, chief among them the Greek-Irish writer Lafcadio Hearn, whose retellings of native ghost stories have made him more famous in Japanese translation than in English. The most interesting writing has been in sketches by those who have passed by and peered in without ever achieving intimacy with the culture: Angela Carter’s essays of the early 1970s collected in Nothing Sacred; Anthony Thwaite’s delicate and tentative poetry collection, Letter from Tokyo; and John Hersey’s great work of reportage, Hiroshima. When literary celebrities have alighted in Japan, the results have usually been disastrous.

Richard Lloyd Parry.


Here's some nice plagiarism of this by Marrouchi:

Western writers have been visiting Japan since the 1860s, but for such a vast thrilling and important country it has proven barren as a place of literary exile. Among those who made Japan their home, as well as their subject, there are to be found only few such as the Greek Irish Lafcadio Hearn, whose retellings of Japan native ghost stories have made him more famous in Japanese translation than in English. The most interesting writing has been in sketches by those who have passed by and peered in without acquiring intimacy with the culture of Japan: Angela Carter's Nothing Sacred, an individual inspection, Anthony Thwaite's Letter from Tokyo, a collection of poetry, John Hersey's Hiroshima, a work of reportage, or Roland Barthes's L'Empire des signes (Empire of Signs), a meditative essay are good examples. Other — in my opinion less sophisticated — texts include Jay McInerney's Ransom full of machismo and japonaiserie (Vincent Van Gogh's nineteenth-century notion about the influence of Japanese art and culture), Clive James's comedy Brrm Brrm, or Alan Booth's and Richard Gordon Smith's travel writings (on travel and Japan, see, e.g., Goebel; Kawakami; Suvin; on the problematics between the literatures of the East and the West, see, e.g., Aldridge; Moore and Moody). But Japan has never attracted the attention of a Chatwin or a Naipaul, let alone fostered a Kipling in spite of a short visit there in 1889, a Maugham, a Conrad, or a Bowles. I posit that exceptions to the rule are David Mitchell's number9dream and The Thousand Autumns of Jacob de Zoet and Kazuo Ishiguro's A Pale View of Hills and An Artist of the Floating World.

I just googled a few phrases and came up with the source quite easily. I could do it for the entire essay, I'm sure, and find other uncited sources.

Thursday, August 21, 2014

"the realist tradition from Homer to Virginia Woolf"

Google this phrase. You can find it here, on the back cover of a book by Robbins.

You can also find it here, plagiarized directly from the back cover of this book by a recently discovered serial plagiarist.

The reason I googled the phrase in the first place is because it is ridiculous. There is no "realist tradition from Homer to V. Woolf." The back cover publicity material makes an exceedingly lazy reference to Auerbach's Mimesis, which begins with Homer and Genesis and ends with Joyce and Woolf. There can't be a "realist tradition" that includes two writers who aren't realists, Homer and Woolf! The complete sentence also included the verb "bodies forth," so I knew this writing was already suspect. Plagiarists prefer to plagiarize really bad writing, for some reason: "while it also bodies forth a revisionist counter-politics to the realist tradition from Homer to Virginia Woolf."

This particular serial plagiarist, Marrouchi, is extraordinary in his extensive plagiarism for years and years. What is bizarre in what I have discovered by accident here is that Marrouchi cites Robbins in parentheses but does not acknowledge that he stolen those exact words, and that he has replaced the subject of the sentence with a wholly different subject. On the back cover, it is Robbins argument itself that "bodies forth," and in Marrouchi's sentence it is a character from a novel.


Saturday, August 9, 2014

Lorcalatry

I've coined a new word, lorcalatry, after the model of bardolatry.

You're welcome.

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

5 Words that do not exist

Language is difficult. To help you out I will tell you about some words* that do not actually exist. You can improve your use of language by not using these non-words ever again. Some appear in dictionaries, and seem to be real words, but they are not, actually. They are used mostly by people with names that do not exist either.

Parental.

What you mean to say is "parent." So say, "I am going to visit my parents this weekend, not "I am going to visit my parentals."

Arugula.

Some use this non-existent non-word to refer to a rather bitter kind of green plant. But if you think about it a little this is not really a word in English.

Moreso.

"Moreso" is not a word either. It is unclear what it is supposed to mean or how it is supposed to be pronounced. Perhaps it is corruption of the word "morsel."

Grown child

This is not a word, but a phrase, and it actually does exist, but it makes no sense. Instead of saying "adult child" or "grown children," say "adult" or "adults." You see, a child is a human being who is not an adult, or grown. By the way, the correct plural is "children," not "childs" as many people think.

Thusly.

Not a word. We use -ly to form adjectives of manner, like "softly." But "thus" is already an adverb so the suffix isn't doing much, is it?

You're welcome.

***

*Some say that these words exist, but are not really words. Others claim that they do not, in fact, exist at all. A third position holds that they exist, and are actually words.



Thursday, July 24, 2014

5 Words you are using wrong in the English language

Kid

What you think it means... a human child.

What it really means... a young goat.

Heel

What you think it means... an inconsiderate person, a jerk.

What it really means... the back part of human foot.

Fork

What you think it means... a division in a road.

What it really means... an eating utensil.

Floor

What you think it means... to make an automobile accelerate rapidly with your foot on the gas pedal.

What it really means... the lower surface of a room

Paper

What you think it means... an essay or school assignment, a scholarly article.

What it really means... "material manufactured in thin sheets from the pulp of wood or other fibrous substances, used for writing, drawing, or printing on, or as wrapping material"









Monday, July 21, 2014

Samizdat Blog: How I Wrote Certain of My Books

Samizdat Blog: How I Wrote Certain of My Books

I believe that we should listen to Bob because he has written the books to back up his opinion. He is a productive scholar. His method might not work for everyone, but it is a good example of how one productive scholar gets it done.

Crowdsourcing review

Would crowdsourcing peer review work? Probably not, at least in fields I know anything about. What you need for a peer review is the guy (the gal). The gal or guy who knows the lay of the land, who can compare the article with existing literature. Crowd sourcing works best with lowest common denominator tasks. If I were to ask someone to read an article or chapter for me, it would not just be any old person. Of course, you can also have a reading by someone who knows nothing about your particular topic. Then the reading serves a different purpose, because you have to be more clear about your assumptions to convince that kind of reader.

The reader slightly out of your field can be good, to bring another perspective. So I might be a good reader for your paper on French poetry, say. I wouldn't have any hobby-horses about the subject matter.

But generally you want the guy.