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Anxious gatekeeping

Analogous to nervous cluelessness is something we might call “anxious gatekeeping.”   This is desire to police the borders of poetry, or of...

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.


1 comment:

Vance Maverick said...

The piece you link has also never seen a copy editor, unless possibly a negative one adding even more minor errors.

And it opens with a boring rhetorical attack: why is there no novel about X? I was just reading Doris Lessing doing this with greater gift and scope. Neither seems to take up why we should expect the distribution of fictional reality to match that of real reality. Didn't Aristotle have something to say about this?