Saturday, November 19, 2011

Multi-Book Deal for Plagiarist

Here's a cute story for all of us having trouble finding a home for our original work, the multi-book deal this guy got for a bunch of spy novels...upended when it was discovered the first one was heavily plagiarized.

It reminds me, in a roundabout way, of the time some fellow sent Jerzy Kosinski's bestselling Being There out to agents as if it were his own manuscript and got turned down multiple times, occasionally with extreme prejudice. (Kosinski himself was accused of plagiarizing Being There and also of falsely claiming that much of The Painted Bird was autobiographical.)

I'm sure there's some kind of lesson in all of this. Tell me, what do you think it is?

Friday, November 4, 2011

Get a Grip!

All my life -- long, currently dreary -- I've corrected "ahold" to "a hold," as in, "to get a hold of" someone, convinced that writers who spelled it as one word were, in a word, morons, like those folks who improperly apostrophize, as in "I sent you some photo's of our trip to Yosemite."

So I'm rereading The Naked and the Dead and here's Norman Mailer, no moron -- well, in most ways; let's not discuss his views of women which, as is quite clear from TNATD, are, let's say, a catalogue of Madonna-whore complexes without much of the Madonna part -- here, as I said, is Norman Mailer using the word "ahold" a lot (not "alot").

So I look it up and it turns out that several dictionaries allow this execrescence, so I guess I can no longer automatically consign those who use it to morondom. I suppose it's no crazier than "awhile" -- and I'd never write "come and sit a while" -- so I suppose I can't complain.  Even though I still don't like it.

Just in case you were wondering what I thought on the subject.

P.S. Spellcheck does not approve of "ahold."