May

2

Oops, She Did it Again

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The Opal Mehta scandal continues! Apparently not satisfied with plagiarizing from Columbia grad Megan McCafferty, Harvard sophomore Kaavya Viswanathan also lifted passages from Salman Rushdie’s 1990 children’s novel Haroun and Meg Cabot’s Princess Diaries. At least she chose well with the Rushdie.

Learn all about it from our good friends at the Crimson.

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45 Comments

  1. does this mean  

    she could get a fatwa on her head too?

  2. once again,  

    this proves that harvard is a bunch of stuck up assholes who couldn't have an original idea if it slapped them in their cumulative pretentious faces.

  3. .....  

    ...except for the fact that she did her plagiarism while in high school

  4. ...except,  

    she got into harvard, and harvard only accepts a certain type of person. namely, [refer to post 2]

  5. no  

    harvard, like every other ivy league/upper-echelon school, accepts people that are really smart and/or really accomplished. they had no reason to think her book deal wasn't genuine.

  6. ahem  

    technically, she didn't do anything "again"... she concocted the whole mess the first time around. it is only we gullible readers who are piecing together the puzzle bit by bit. it is, you see, like an elaborate cat and mouse game. ms. viswinathan is like raskalnikov dancing around the inquiries of the st. petersburg police. well played, ms. viswinathan, but now it's time to find redemption in a siberian gulag. good-day.

  7. ach gott  

    beendet diese schadenfreude niemals?

  8. Ja  

    Ich bin götterfunken mit schadenfreude.

  9. ...  

    ooooh i can't believe she has the nerve to remain on thefacebook.

  10. ttan

    What I want to know is how did anyone find this? Did this David Zhou guy spend hours looking through the books?

  11. she didn't  

    even plagiarize anything good.

  12. erm  

    no it's probably obvious, or stuck out, to kids who read these similar books...or there are tipsters. let's look for more similar passages!!

  13. gah  

    I don't understand why we have to write stuff in ..german i'm assuming? when we all don't understand german.

  14. why  

    does the cover look like african art if this took place in suburban new jersey?

  15. can you keep a secret  

    Another book she plagiarized out of! The shopahopic author hahahaaa



    http://www.nytimes.com/2006/05/02/books/02auth.html?ex=1146715200&en=3d040966c2ea6929&ei=5087%0A

  16. so  

    I'm thinking the more sources that are found that she's "plagiarized" from, the less likely she did it on purpose. And plus, I wouldn't really be surprised if a lot of books out there have phrasing/diction suspiciously similar to previously published books.

  17. hmmm  

    Those "Can You Keep a Secret?" ones are pretty far-fetched. "I'll tell everyone that your coat comes from a warehouse" compared to "I'll tell everyone that in 8th grade you work a 'My Little Pony' sweater"? That's silly.

  18. Well,  

    At least this shows that she is well-read. Or, at least read.

  19. yo  

    a friend of mine has the theory that this whole thing was written by computer. take apart some other books, restich them together with new words, and then some light editing to make it coherent.

    • interesting theory  

      have you ever read Roald Dahl's short story The Great Automatic Grammatisator? it's about this machine that writes stories and novels, and monopolizes over the writing industry. kind of what "book packagers" like 17th street productions seem to be doing...

      • 1984  

        Orwell described similar writing machines, though they were much more threatening, conceptually.

        • Yeah, wow...  

          "she worked...on the novel-writing machines in the Fiction Department. She enjoyed her work, which consisted chiefly in running and servicing a powerful but tricky electric motor. She was 'not clever', but was fond of using her hands and felt at home with machinery. She could describe the whole process of composing a novel, from the general directive issued by the Planning Committee down to the final touching-up by the Rewrite Squad."

  20. not much different than columbia...  

    and by losing her book deal, she's lost more than some Columbians who plagiarized actual schoolwork and got nothing more than a slap on the wrist.

  21. Me  

    Why is everyone so upset about this? She's merely referencing other books she admires. Isn't that what pastiche is?

  22. Stephen  

    the plagiarism from "can you keep a secret" is a stretch at best. come on.

  23. books being pulled  

    she just lost her series deal and her book is being pulled from shelves now...so reports CNN

  24. ya  

    according to gawker.com the last third of her book is taken more from 'can you keep a secret' than mccafferty maybe bc she ran out of things to copy from. this is sad...public humiliation

  25. movie production halted  

    lmao @ #6



    and goddammit, it's la perla lingerie, not "le perla"

  26. i feel like...  

    it's getting a little too far fetched.

    yet ANOTHER book that kaavya supposedly copied from. That machine thing? I'm starting to believe it.....

  27. J Train  

    Two words:



    Blair Hornstein.

  28. Schadenfreude notwithstanding...  

    ...But don't you think it's a bit inappropriate to humiliate her in public like this? What she did was completely unethical; I agree they should pull the books, etc...but the media are going way overboard. Come on, now, she's 19; they shouldn't conspire to ruin her life, and prevent her from learning her lesson and then moving on. If this sort of public humiliation continues, if her name stays in the spotlight, she'll have an extraordinarily hard time applying to grad schools, finding a job, etc. She deserves more than a slap on the wrist, but punishment shouldn't be eternal!

    • John  

      Scarlet letter, my friend. Keeps other people from doing the same thing, and that's the American tradition.

    • J Train  

      Nope, I think the attention is completely justified. She was paid an advance of half a million dollars, fer crissakes, and she's a plagiarist. All's fair in books and war. "They" didn't conspire to ruin her life, but by plagiarizing, she's doing a pretty good job of ruining it herself.

  29. weLL  

    well her name was shmeared all over the press and publicized for her book deal, which would have made it easy for her to get a job, go to grad school etc. she hit it big time. so she wrote a novel about an Indian girl....did she deserve eternal rewards? people will forget about this and move on soon enough though, i bet she can even write some expose on it.

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