Sunday, September 2, 2007

Ron Rosenbaum: wake up and smell the plagiarism

Inspired by Ron "If She Plagiarized" Rosenbaum, a reader has sent more proof of Duncan's cribbing.

From Duncan's perfumey post Dzing! Perfume And My Carnival Night:

Mikhail Bakhtin is a favorite critic who elucidated a favorite author, Francois Rabelais. Bakhtin's writings on the comic violence, bad language, exaggeration, satire, and shape-shifting of Rabelais are a prime example of one genius of elucidation reaching back across an expanse of time to find his component genius of expression.
For the Russian Bakhtin, the Frenchman Rabelais is the greatest example of what he terms "carnivalesque" literature. Ever concerned with the liberation of the human spirit, Bakhtin claims that carnivalesque literature — like the carnivals themselves — broke apart oppressive and mouldy forms of thought and cleared the path for the imagination and component genius of expression

From Wikipedia on 9/2/07:
Bakhtin recognises that the tradition of carnival dwindled in Europe following the Renaissance and the eventual replacement of feudalism with capitalism. As a result, he says, the public spirit of the carnival metamorphosed into the 'carnivalesque': that is, the spirit of carnival rendered into literary form. The person who, existing on the cusp of this social upheaval, most fully represented this spirit was Fran├žois Rabelais, and the book which holds the greatest purchase on Bakhtin's imagination is Rabelais' Gargantua and Pantagruel. The comic violence, bad language, exaggeration, satire, and shape-shifting which fill this book are, for Bakhtin, the greatest example of carnivalesque literature. Ever concerned with the liberation of the human spirit, Bakhtin claimed that carnivalesque literature — like the carnivals themselves — broke apart oppressive and mouldy forms of thought and cleared the path for the imagination and the never-ending project of emancipation.

Bakhtin suggests that carnivalesque literature also became less common as the increasingly privatised world of modern, individualistic capitalism took hold. However, he points to some notable exceptions: most importantly Fyodor Dostoevsky, but also (in a brief note)Ernest Hemingway.


zipthwung said...

my engliush teachers allways told me to reword stuff, and I think TD has done that enough but her rewording isnt very good ahdn she didnt synthesize anything here so I dunno why she didnt just quote wikipedia, which Im sure a lot of people would wonder when confronted witht his.

But the idea is cool. Indeed I was onto it - The Carnivalesque is sort of an art world buzz dealio - Jerry Saltz had some mention of it, and his wife Roberta smith and some other art critic types.

Theres also the specatacle and festivalism - seen in a triangle. Google the three words and youll get plenty of material. I wonder why TD didnt riff on that.

Thesis antithesis synthesis.

I got that Hegel off a TV show BTW, so Im not exactly an elitist.

In fact I'm a Phillistine.

poussin said...

I think we need Ron to explain the difference between "component genius of expression" (Duncan) and "never-ending project of emancipation" (Wiki). Seems the former comes from:

Kafka: Toward a Minor Literature: The Components of Expression
Gilles Deleuze, Felix Guattari, Marie Maclean

There's that damn Deleuze again..

poussin said...

How soon we forget, Poulet. Per Ron, it is apparently okay to plagiarize, so long as the plagiarism isn't uninteresting. Now had she plagiarized, for instance, an actuarial table on the incidence of botulism in canned beets, this would not have been acceptable, but fling out that Bakhtin and everything's groovy.

Where is the old boy, anyway? Ron, please check in. The plane is leaving without you. TDC would like you to explain your hypothetical. Thank you.

Lauren said...

I didn't know Teresa Duncan. The first I heard of her was in the NY mag article but was curious enough about her story to find this site and these posts and I have to say, I'm appalled by what I've discovered. I'd like to remind everyone that we're talking about a young woman who met a tragic and untimely death. And the petty, nasty, accustory tone in many of these posts makes me think- maybe she wasn't nuts, maybe there was some kind of smear campaign going on. But if that is not the case, and you all are just regular folks throwing stones, my reaction is- shame on you. TD was not a murder, she was not a rapist, she was not a thief- if she was guilty of anything it was maybe being a little eccentric or maybe even mentally ill. I think it's in very poor taste to debate whether or not she plagarized an internet post or fudged her age- was anyone really harmed by this? Are these "deceptions" really worth bringing up when she's not even here to defend herself? My comment is- show some respect and common decency. I've lied about my age a time or two, I can't imagine the twisted psyche that would use this as 'evidence' of declining mental health after my passing- in print no less.

Jessie said...

I wholeheartedly agree with Lauren -- show some respect and common decency.

I queried the purpose of this site after stumbling upon it while searching for some of Blake's images the other day. I was greeted with a personal attack suggesting that I know nothing about biographies of persons now deceased. It was also suggested that TD brought this adverse scrutiny upon herself b/c she allegedly hurt individuals while she was alive. Were you one of them?

I think there is a line between figuring out an individual's past (which we will never know b/c said individual is no longer alive and cannot defend herself), and just being plain mean.

As Lauren suggested, what is the point of throwing stones at someone who is dead and can no longer defend herself? So what if she did plagiarize? Should she be remembered as a sick, callous, selfish individual because of this? Because of negative postings and comments made by people who never knew her?

Someone responded to my last comment stating that this site covers the coverage, and much of that happens to be trash. This site perpetuates, indeed, encourages, the trash that is out there (e.g. you are encouraging a response from "Ron" regarding his opinion on TD's plagiarism).

Please just let these individuals rest in peace.

I would venture a guess to say that TD and JB's families, and even those who were allegedly hurt by them, feel no consolation by the petty, nasty, accusatory (see Lauren) information published on this site.

Anacapri said...

I really have to agree with Laura, as well. Your blog is mean spirited and spiteful. You sound jealous of her for no apparent reason-only you know. You seem to have created this blog to skewer a person who skirted the year they were born. Big deal. You live in the city where this is the favorite past time - and you've never done it? And as far as lifting wiki material - her blog isn't a novel - it's a launching point for ideas, resources, POV's, etc. why are you making such a big case out of the informal contents of her blog? You're nasty and manipulative and obviously unhappy with your lot. You lure people in under the guise of being sympathetic to this deceased person, and then you smear her name all over the place. Shame on you.

zipthwung said...

funny I dont read this blog as mean spirited or spitefull, maybe I'm tone deaf.

Newsweek read like a particularly amusing NY Post article - you know "tabloid journalism," well MSNBC owns Newsweek, so its no surprise.

I dont think this blog encourages much, compared to that, and the coming media frenzy, which will dwarf thew current one. Or maybe its all one continuum, but in any case, being silent is bullshit - it "encourages" the enemy.

If you want to rail against something why not Newsweek and its tabloid hysteria about internet flu?