Friday, November 20, 2009

Ihimaera plagiarism row has a few chapters left
By John Drinnan in his weekly MEDIA column in the New Zealand Herald, 20 November, 2009

The literary establishment and Auckland University are taking Witi Ihimaera's plagiarism in their stride.
Amid the storm over The Trowenna Sea, they appear to be treating it as an irritating disturbance they'd like to say is not so important.
Ihimaera was even named an arts laureate by the New Zealand Arts Foundation for his lifetime work. There are no plans to delve further with plagiarism checks on Trowenna Sea or other works to close the issue.

Tomorrow, the New Zealand Listener - in which reviewer Jolisa Gracewood broke the story two weeks ago with examples of plagiarised content - reveals more unattributed lines in The Trowenna Sea from other people's work.
It is not clear whether these have been acknowledged by Ihimaera.
The latest Listener quotes Margaret Soltan, a professor of English at George Washington University in Washington DC, who criticises Ihimaera. But she mostly criticises Auckland University, where Ihimaera is a distinguished professor and lecturer. She says the university has too-readily accepted the author's word that the plagiarism was inadvertent.
"Pretending it did not happen is the sort of thing a very provincial university will do," she says.

Read John Drinnan's full story in his Friday MEDIA column at NZH online.

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