Wednesday, 25 March 2009

The rights and wrongs of writing

Here's an interesting blog by Kathryn Sutherland; definitely worth reading, I think.
I am off to Harrogate tomorrow to speak at a Yorkshire Post literary lunch. (How does one speak and eat at the same time, I wonder?). Perhaps I should read the bit in Daphne about the real-life intervention of the editor of the Yorkshire Post in the Symington affair...

10 comments:

kairu said...

Take small bites, chew quietly, avoid things that go *crunch* when you bite into them. (As someone who frequently tries to eat lunch at my desk and answer the phone at the same time, I am an expert at tucking a bite of my sandwich away while handling a client's questions. Disgusting, I know, yet sometimes necessary).

Very interesting reading you've linked to here.

JaneGS said...

I've been reading about the Sutherland/Harmon situation over the last couple of weeks, and not having read either book...yet, my gut puts me in the Sutherland camp.

A few years ago, I read Neal Bowers "Words for the Taking: The Hunt for a Plagiarist," and was entirely sympathetic to his situation. To have your words stolen and then to be told that it doesn't matter and that you're being petty is to trivialize your soul, your art, and your work.

With regards to a luncheon talk, in my experience, the speaker typically never eats and most talks take place during coffee/dessert--good luck!

Justine Picardie said...

Weirdly, I did manage to eat lunch -- though no pudding, as I was feeling too nervous, and yes, you're right, I did talk when everyone else was having their coffee and dessert!
My gut is with your gut...

med672 said...

Particularly interesting about Kathryn Sutherland's blog are the more general points she makes about attribution and about the routes that ideas travel. I too have had ideas taken and used without attribution, or with inadequate attribution, and once had a whole article reused in a book chapter by someone else. Because in this case the author footnoted my article at the beginning of his chapter, and lightly edited my words, there was nothing I could do about it. So I spent months doing the research and putting an argument together about a fairly abstruse area in the history of medicine, and someone else got more credit out of it than I did. And it was all perfectly legal! Several years on it still rankles ... so I know where my gut is.

Justine Picardie said...

I think a theme is emerging here...

oxford-reader said...

Strangely I went to a lit fest event last week that had Claire Harman in it ... didn't realise until I got there, and almost walked out. I settled for glaring at her (not that she noticed).
I agree with the other comments here - somehow Academic work is regarded as free for use in dissertations etc, but at least there you have to credit it in bibliographies. To take someone's long term work and make commerical use of it is another matter entirely, and in my view is entirely wrong.

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