The Accidental Plagiarist

January 12, 2009 § 2 Comments

An interesting take on accidental memory-stealing, offered for those still puzzled by the confounding Neale Donald Walsch “Christ Was Love” scandal, via VQR:

The Accidental Plagiarist

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§ 2 Responses to The Accidental Plagiarist

  • Bradley says:

    Well I’ll be damned… that’s MY interview with Tobias Wolff Campbell cites (identified as note 14). Well, okay– not really mine; it’s owned by THE MISSOURI REVIEW. And the insights were all Wolff– the question itself didn’t require such a thoughtful answer. But it’s the interview I conducted, anyway. That was my very first publication.

    That probably doesn’t strike anyone else as being particularly interesting. I’ve just been reading and writing about accidental plagiarism for the past few days, and had even thought about trying to write something about Walsch, cryptomnesia, and that Wolff quote. Now I’m glad I didn’t– that might have looked suspicious. Although if I had written something, perhaps people would have suspected plagiarism in a piece about suspected plagiarism might, which could have been interesting.

    To keep things relevant to the topic at hand… the Campbell essay was simply fantastic, and is now on my list of essays to teach someday soon. I particularly like the empathy he has towards inspired readers (it seems to me that some writers might be less kind, hypocritical as that might be)– that, and the references to Black Sabbath and Alice Cooper. Can’t go wrong with that.

  • […] 1. Neale Donald Walsch got caught ripping off Chicken Soup for the Christian Soul, which has got to be a special kind of embarrassing. Walsch pleads ignorance, saying that he’s “truly mystified and taken aback” and “chagrined and astonished that [his] mind could play such a trick on [him].” Sound implausible? Read Erik Campbell’s “The Accidental Plagiarist: The Trouble with Originality,” from our Spring 2007 issue. It’s a very funny article that makes clear how such things happen. (Via Brevity) […]

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