Thursday, June 16, 2022

Thursday, June 16, 2022 11:34 am by Cristina in , , , ,    No comments
The Guardian publishes the press release issued by writer John Hughes after it was revealed that parts of his novel The Dogs had been plagiarised from Svetlana Alexievich's book The Unwomanly Face of War ('without realising I had done so (believing them to be my own)') and also from Francis Scott Fitzgerald's The Great Gatsby and Leo Tolstoy's Anna Karenina. He argues that,
It’s a rare writer who doesn’t. Borges’ Pierre Menard, three hundred years after the original, wants to re-write Don Quixote, word for word. Jean Rhys wants to retell the story of Jane Eyre. Peter Carey wants to give new life to Charles Dickens. JM Coetzee, Daniel Defoe. It’s a question of degree. I’m probably closer to Pierre Menard when it comes to the great Russian novels of the nineteenth century, but regardless of indebtedness, it’s a great simplification to call this plagiarism.
We don't think it's quite the same, at least in the case of Wide Sargasso Sea, where Jean Rhys set out specifically to give voice to a character in Jane Eyre and was open about it. There was no need for a newspaper to reveal it and she never needed to publish a press release defending her work in that novel because of it.

More revelations as SlashFilm reports that, 'Laurence Olivier Was Less Than Polite On The Set Of Wuthering Heights'.
Despite "Heights" being a romance — and one that earns the much-used appellation of "aching" — Olivier and Oberon reportedly loathed working together. Olivier was cynical about working in America ("Wuthering Heights" was his first American film) and there may have been some lingering resentment over the casting: Vivian Leigh, then Olivier's lover and later his wife, wanted to play Catherine, but was considered too much of an unknown in America, and was turned away. 
However the resentment began, it was out in full force on the set of Wyler's movie, and their horrendous arguments were detailed in Jan Herman's 1997 book "A Talent for Trouble: The Life of Hollywood's Most Acclaimed Director, William Wyler." Some of the stories in that book make production sound like a living nightmare for both actors. 
In an excerpt from the book published in the Los Angeles Times in December of 1995, some of Olivier's bad behavior is explicit. [...]
Oberon grumbled about their love scenes. She stopped one in the middle of a take. "You know, you spat at me," she said. "You had a drop of spittle come flying across in your goddamned passion. You spat, and it hit me."
"Oh, Merle, I beg your pardon," Olivier said testily. "But these things do happen between actors."
On the retake Oberon lost her temper.
"That was worse than anything I've ever seen in my life," she snapped. "I don't think I've ever seen such a badly played shot if I may say so — and you spat again!"
"Why you amateur little b****," Olivier fumed. "What's a little spit for crissake between actors? You bloody little idiot, how dare you speak to me ... ?" (Witney Seibold)
Another Magazine features writer Elif Batuman and her new novel Either/Or.
For Batuman, this is a gendered issue. Men pine, of course, but they are more prone to compartmentalising, repressing, and keeping their focus on other things (an essentialist theory, but one that can feel uncomfortably true). Women, through years of conditioning that love is the most important thing of all, can merrily let the longing rip apart their life. Romance is pain, if the plight of all great literary heroines is anything to go by: ask Madame Bovary, Ophelia, Jane Eyre, Nadja or Anna Karenina. Perhaps that’s why literature student Selin – a young, unsure woman trying to cultivate an “aesthetic” life – spends so much of the book confused by the messaging of her college syllabus. “Great literature is about a young woman who ruins her life over a guy who isn’t that smart,” said Batuman recently. “Where had such messages led me?”  (Dominique Sisley)
Esquire (Spain) reviews Elena Ferrante's novel The Lying Life of Adults.
 Como todos los protagonistas adolescentes, desde Jane Eyre hasta Adrian Mole, Giovanna se ve impulsada por la necesidad de entregarse, corporalmente, a alguien, aunque no sabe muy bien a quién. (Miranda Collinge) (Translation)

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