From my distant position outside official literary culture and approved media, I hear talk of a journalist, Fareed Zakaria, exposed as engaging in plagiarism.
Plagiarism? What’s plagiarism? Wasn’t that declared an obsolete concept by establishment literary darling Jonathan Lethem several years ago in Harper’s magazine? Were not strenuous efforts made to silence a writer—myself—discussing blatant examples of same engaged in by another system-approved writer (fellow member of the same clique as Lethem as a matter of fact); to quickly shut down all debate of the matter—and debate was shut down, thanks to the efforts of tools of the status quo like Maud Newton. Forgive me for naming names, I know that’s not done in Approved literary society, but I’d like to get straight the system-enforced idea of whether or not there remains such a concept or thing as that previously known by the name plagiarism?!
I was told, as I was being simultaneously banned from all discussion and excluded by all mention in polite literary society everywhere, that such a ridiculous idea as “plagiarism” was now obsolete; the new approach had been mandated by literary Power, by the friends of the very same individual who seemed to me clearly in black-and-white words side-by-side to have engaged in the behavior now forbidden to be mentioned but once known under the outlaw word plagiarism.
Plagiarism! The Great Jonathan Lethem (he has a MacArthur grant proving his greatness or at least his feckless obedience) mocked the very idea of plagiarism in his renowned unprincipled essay in Harper’s magazine while the claque of his Insider peers chortled at his convolutions of words and arguments of sophistry with glee. Now suddenly I hear again that banned word plagiarism! From the very media system that had apparently banned it! I realize that it was not banned after all, only in the instance of the literary community, the one instance which I and the ULA the dreaded Underground Literary Alliance had sought to make moralistic ethical noise about—the instance involving the unscrupulous unnamed friend of power, Friend of Eggers (another banned phrase), which often enough amounts to the very same thing.