Literary Clusterfucks 2013

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Beginning to think maybe a rolling thread might be good. Anyway:

So Alisa Valdes just publishes this memoir about this cowboy of hers and how he's a man's man and now's she's a woman like never before and etc. That link's to Hanna Rosin's review, and she's essentially going "Um...you sure?"

And then Valdes publishes this today.

Ned Raggett, Thursday, 10 January 2013 01:15 (nine years ago) link

That said, a lot can happen in two years, especially when you’re in a relationship with a man as complicated and volatile as the cowboy.

j., Thursday, 10 January 2013 01:17 (nine years ago) link

"what I actually wrote was a handbook for women on how to fall in love with a manipulative, controlling, abusive narcissist."

just what the world needed. like a poke in the eye.

Aimless, Thursday, 10 January 2013 01:32 (nine years ago) link

jesus

mookieproof, Thursday, 10 January 2013 01:35 (nine years ago) link

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FORoSB5JxCU

"Cowboy up."

jim, Thursday, 10 January 2013 01:44 (nine years ago) link

none of these people are really writers

― puff puff post (uh oh I'm having a fantasy), Friday, June 4, 2010 1:18 PM (2 years ago) Bookmark Flag Post Permalink

puff puff post (uh oh I'm having a fantasy), Thursday, 10 January 2013 01:49 (nine years ago) link

wtf @ that whole story

an eagle named "small government" (call all destroyer), Thursday, 10 January 2013 01:50 (nine years ago) link

polo shirt under a jacket, tho

mookieproof, Thursday, 10 January 2013 01:50 (nine years ago) link

I see by your outfit that you are a cowboy.
You see by my outfit that I'm a cowboy, too.
We see by these outfits that we are all cowboys.
If you buy a cowboy outfit, you can be a cowboy, too.

Aimless, Thursday, 10 January 2013 01:50 (nine years ago) link

damn nm I just actually read this shit how f'd up

puff puff post (uh oh I'm having a fantasy), Thursday, 10 January 2013 02:07 (nine years ago) link

i keep reading her name as alida valli

difficult listening hour, Thursday, 10 January 2013 02:27 (nine years ago) link

jesus

set the controls for the heart of the sun (VegemiteGrrl), Thursday, 10 January 2013 02:37 (nine years ago) link

I don't know if we do this around here but there's some srs abuse and sexual assault triggers in Ned's second link

autistic boy is surprisingly good at basketball (silby), Thursday, 10 January 2013 02:47 (nine years ago) link

it's probably a good thing that she's posting a picture of her rapist on the internet, now we can watch out for him

autistic boy is surprisingly good at basketball (silby), Thursday, 10 January 2013 02:51 (nine years ago) link

man that's a tough read

goole, Thursday, 10 January 2013 02:51 (nine years ago) link

cowboyfucks

buzza, Thursday, 10 January 2013 03:11 (nine years ago) link

How much you wanna bet that Mr Cowboy is gonna be a MRA talking head

Theodora Celery, Thursday, 10 January 2013 03:49 (nine years ago) link

In 2001, Valdes emailed a 3400-word resignation letter to her superiors at the Los Angeles Times. The letter was widely circulated on the Internet[ and reprinted in the St. Petersburg Times. In the letter she accused the newspaper of racism and discrimination, especially in its synonymous use of the word "latino" with "Spanish-speaker", a practice she equated to genocide.

buzza, Thursday, 10 January 2013 03:54 (nine years ago) link

buzza are you suggesting that alisa valdes is hysterical or otherwise to be dismissed

mookieproof, Thursday, 10 January 2013 04:32 (nine years ago) link

this is not the elizabeth wurtzel thread

buzza, Thursday, 10 January 2013 04:35 (nine years ago) link

And so, even though I was 43 years old and have Lupus

WHY DO THESE FANFICCY CRAP ROMANCE NOVELISTS ALWAYS HAVE LUPUS OR FIBRO WTF.

Una Stubbs' Tears (Trayce), Thursday, 10 January 2013 04:36 (nine years ago) link

hm prob should have read the whole post of hers before making light. still, this shit brings the whole 50 shades bullshit into its awful, true light.

Una Stubbs' Tears (Trayce), Thursday, 10 January 2013 04:46 (nine years ago) link

Considering Valdes wrote one of the single most amazing demolitions of a horrible person ever, reading/seeing all this...yeah.

Ned Raggett, Thursday, 10 January 2013 05:43 (nine years ago) link

okay that was awesome. thanks for linking that Ned

set the controls for the heart of the sun (VegemiteGrrl), Thursday, 10 January 2013 05:48 (nine years ago) link

still cannot get over her story with the cowboy. so fucked up. I mean, just that it reads so familiarly, is so sad to me.

set the controls for the heart of the sun (VegemiteGrrl), Thursday, 10 January 2013 05:52 (nine years ago) link

this is not the elizabeth wurtzel thread

oh, okay then

mookieproof, Thursday, 10 January 2013 05:55 (nine years ago) link

“An irresistible, post-feminist Taming of the Shrew. Don’t be scared by the premise. This is not a story about a woman relinquishing her identity. Quite the opposite. It is a riveting tale about how a brilliant, strong-minded woman liberated herself from a dreary, male-bashing, reality-denying feminism.”

– Christina Hoff Sommers, author of The War Against Boys; How Misguided Feminism is Harming Our Young Men

buzza, Thursday, 10 January 2013 07:24 (nine years ago) link

a practice she equated to genocide

ugh fuck this, there is like a 100% chance she was referring to cultural genocide, a term used for decades and not meant to imply the actual murder of a group of people

#guy #guy fieri #poop #hallway (zachlyon), Thursday, 10 January 2013 07:25 (nine years ago) link

http://www.sptimes.com/News/110300/Floridian/The_language_of_genoc.shtml

buzza, Thursday, 10 January 2013 07:37 (nine years ago) link

buzza idgi are you trying to damage the credibility of the woman who basically just announced she wrote a book about a man who raped her

autistic boy is surprisingly good at basketball (silby), Thursday, 10 January 2013 07:39 (nine years ago) link

apparently so?

it's tough when you can only speak in the form of revived threads

mookieproof, Thursday, 10 January 2013 07:53 (nine years ago) link

seemed like zachylon wanted the context of the wiki quote so i provided it?

buzza, Thursday, 10 January 2013 08:02 (nine years ago) link

thank you for posting it

she does make a clear distinction between the two types of genocide tho she doesn't mark it with "cultural" or something similar. she does 'equate' the two but that's sort of the idea, while the wiki editor left out any of that context and framed it like "she compared this one tiny linguistic choice with the holocaust", fuck wiki

#guy #guy fieri #poop #hallway (zachlyon), Thursday, 10 January 2013 08:56 (nine years ago) link

"literary"

Broken Clock Britain (Noodle Vague), Thursday, 10 January 2013 09:18 (nine years ago) link

I have a lot of thoughts about this whole thing and also some feelings but none are organized enough to share except for, Jesus, Lady--at least when I did that I didn't write a book about it.

grossly incorrect register (in orbit), Thursday, 10 January 2013 14:49 (nine years ago) link

considering that one of the major goals of feminism was to protect women from the power imbalances present in domestic relationships, it's not super surprising that valdes' paean to how feminism got romance wrong and how there's something special about a real man turned out to be about an abusive asshole. i don't mean to suggest that she deserves what happened in the least, but there is a sort of irony that the very political principles she decried in the context of this relationship turned out to be especially relevant to her needs.

Mordy, Thursday, 10 January 2013 15:01 (nine years ago) link

xp On second thought that makes it sound like my experience was as extreme as hers: it was not. I also didn't put it in those terms of submission etc or posit that it revealed anything about how feminism has failed us. And I didn't have to jump out of a moving truck although after getting hit by an actual car frankly I'd take another one of those accidents over another of those relationships.

grossly incorrect register (in orbit), Thursday, 10 January 2013 15:03 (nine years ago) link

there is a sort of irony that the very political principles she decried in the context of this relationship turned out to be especially relevant to her needs.

It's not like that's a coincidence. She decried them because she was being told to.

grossly incorrect register (in orbit), Thursday, 10 January 2013 15:07 (nine years ago) link

really want some blogger to try to get a reaction out of christina hoff summers

goole, Thursday, 10 January 2013 15:13 (nine years ago) link

I usually assume "How I did X and Changed My Life" memoirists are flighty, superficial and unrealistic people, because shit just doesn't work like that. This is a particularly egregious example.

drunk 'n' white's elements of style (Hurting 2), Thursday, 10 January 2013 15:25 (nine years ago) link

This is a horrible horrible story.

emil.y, Thursday, 10 January 2013 15:40 (nine years ago) link

btw, I regret my above post, having apparently made it without really reading most of the story in her blog post.

However, the blog post is now gone.

drunk 'n' white's elements of style (Hurting 2), Thursday, 10 January 2013 16:44 (nine years ago) link

?!

goole, Thursday, 10 January 2013 16:44 (nine years ago) link

this just got a little clusterfuckier

drunk 'n' white's elements of style (Hurting 2), Thursday, 10 January 2013 16:46 (nine years ago) link

without the followup blog post this is kind of incoherent

she wrote a fluffy romance novel that seems to spend half its time scolding modern feminism, then revealed that the man she was writing about raped and abused her and (this is where things are fuzzy to me) the whole novel was a double-feint?

Solange Knowles is my hero (DJP), Thursday, 10 January 2013 16:52 (nine years ago) link

it's a memior!

goole, Thursday, 10 January 2013 16:53 (nine years ago) link

ergh

so, replace "romance novel" with "memoir"; is the rest accurate?

Solange Knowles is my hero (DJP), Thursday, 10 January 2013 16:54 (nine years ago) link

Yup.

Ned Raggett, Thursday, 10 January 2013 16:54 (nine years ago) link

huh

Solange Knowles is my hero (DJP), Thursday, 10 January 2013 16:55 (nine years ago) link

Given some of the things she was also saying about her publisher I wonder if that had something to do with it.

Ned Raggett, Thursday, 10 January 2013 16:55 (nine years ago) link

come on, man

This is the carceral system at work within the literary field.

The centering of Jumi Bello’s indiscretion as opposed to the systemic harm of the industry on the mental and physical wellbeing of marginalized authors. https://t.co/DBlzkZ3EIv

— Mx. Faylita Hicks (@FaylitaHicks) May 9, 2022

Guayaquil (eephus!), Tuesday, 10 May 2022 00:43 (one week ago) link

lol

mookieproof, Tuesday, 10 May 2022 00:46 (one week ago) link

Defund Literature!
Oh, already done

Chappies banging dustbin lids together (President Keyes), Tuesday, 10 May 2022 01:07 (one week ago) link

"The lights are growing dim...I know a life of crime has led me to this sorry fate. And yet, I blame society. Society made me what I am." *coughs blood, dies*

but also fuck you (unperson), Tuesday, 10 May 2022 01:12 (one week ago) link

Dear Mx. Faylita Hicks, it only required a cursory five second web search for me to discover Jumi Bello's author photo, in which she looks to be a black woman, and so might be considered a "marginalized writer" simply because black women authors are traditionally very under-represented.

However, the same cursory five second web search revealed this brief bio: "A fiction graduate of the Iowa Writer's Workshop... she is a Black Mountain Institute creative nonfiction PhD fellow at the University of Las Vegas" and her debut novel was accepted for publication by a division of Penguin Books before it was pulled for plagiarism.

If this is a writer being shoved to the margins, then I'm thinking there are a great many aspiring writers who'd be quick to sign up for that kind of marginalization.

more difficult than I look (Aimless), Tuesday, 10 May 2022 02:02 (one week ago) link

I want to know more about the university administrator who thought, "This magazine's editor-in-chief embarrassed one of our donors by doing a Zoom call in the bathtub. Well, I'll show them. I'll sell the whole magazine to a sex toy company!"

— Caleb Crain (@caleb_crain) May 11, 2022

deep luminous trombone (Eazy), Wednesday, 11 May 2022 03:00 (one week ago) link

Big Brass Eye wanking senator vibes from that double plagiarism story

very interesting piece by (Bananaman Begins), Wednesday, 11 May 2022 07:54 (one week ago) link

lmao christ, american discourse is so fucked

imago, Wednesday, 11 May 2022 08:05 (one week ago) link

Even if Bello isn't a textbook example of a marginalised author (although I really have no way of confirming that), I don't see the problems with Hicks's tweet beyond its portentous phrasing.

Chuck_Tatum, Wednesday, 11 May 2022 11:07 (one week ago) link

I mean, it's a funny story and it's okay to find it funny (double plagiarism!) but it's also okay to accept there some are systemic, dysfuntional inequalities and pressures in publishing that make this sort of thing more likely. And that doesn't have to be a slight against authors who are capable of writing with plagiarising wildly.

Chuck_Tatum, Wednesday, 11 May 2022 11:10 (one week ago) link

*without plagiarising wildly

Chuck_Tatum, Wednesday, 11 May 2022 11:10 (one week ago) link

i feel like this is some kind of perfect idpol rorschach test

imago, Wednesday, 11 May 2022 11:11 (one week ago) link

It’s a crap tweet because its argument is absolute bullshit.

we need outrage! we need dicks!! (the table is the table), Wednesday, 11 May 2022 11:13 (one week ago) link

going a bit deeper, i feel like copyright is kinda bullshit and people should be able to plagiarise as much as they want, but i also feel like publishing companies should also be able to withdraw from publishing agreements if it becomes clear the writer is just lifting their content from elsewhere without credit, the story should really end there, with an added lol for the double plagiarism

imago, Wednesday, 11 May 2022 11:15 (one week ago) link

Why is it bullshit though?

Chuck_Tatum, Wednesday, 11 May 2022 11:15 (one week ago) link

I guess I just think lolling at the double plagiarism and comprehending the possibility of the systemic dysfunction that might put pressure on people to plagiarise are not mutually exclusive

Chuck_Tatum, Wednesday, 11 May 2022 11:16 (one week ago) link

any sort of idpol angle is astonishing nonsense, die on this hill, there are so many ways to not plagiarise, including above all CITING SOURCES

imago, Wednesday, 11 May 2022 11:17 (one week ago) link

plagiarism is not a singular sin unaffected by the world around you - nothing is

Chuck_Tatum, Wednesday, 11 May 2022 11:18 (one week ago) link

I think it is in poor taste, at the very least, to compare someone who got a publishing deal, got caught plagiarising their work and then got the chance to write an article about that to the conditions that ppl facing the US carceral system face.

Obv ppl from marginalized backgrounds face greater challenges in publishing as everywhere else but to hold an instance of a person who was given far more opportunities than 99% of ppl currently struggling to work in the sector up as an example of that is grotesque imo.

Daniel_Rf, Wednesday, 11 May 2022 11:19 (one week ago) link

I always thought this was a fun essay on plagiarism https://archive.harpers.org/2007/02/pdf/HarpersMagazine-2007-02-0081387.pdf

corrs unplugged, Wednesday, 11 May 2022 11:19 (one week ago) link

but find the tweet nonsensical, unnecessary apologetics

corrs unplugged, Wednesday, 11 May 2022 11:21 (one week ago) link

well no, most writers are usually under enormous pressure, but there's no excuse for plagiarism, it is a failure of writing and an aesthetic sin of the first order

the fact that plagiarism was committed in an article that offered excuses for plagiarism is the lol, and it almost pushes the whole affair into the status of successful artistic experiment

imago, Wednesday, 11 May 2022 11:21 (one week ago) link

that was xp to CT

imago, Wednesday, 11 May 2022 11:21 (one week ago) link

successful artistic experiment that J Lethem has already performed, lol

imago, Wednesday, 11 May 2022 11:22 (one week ago) link

Daniel_Rf completely otm obv, got it in a nutshell

imago, Wednesday, 11 May 2022 11:24 (one week ago) link

Patronizing bullshit at that. It essentially implies that marginalized writers couldn’t possibly have free will or a sense of what plagiarism is or isn’t— it is, in its essence, a parody of progressive hand-wringing that ends up making marginalized people into children. Aimless’ post hints at another element that is bullshit: the very idea that the author is some kind of outsider to the rules of plagiarism because she is marginalized. Horseshit— the author went to Iowa. She was at the top of her game, in other words, and then willfully threw away her opportunities by engaging in plagiarism…. and it’s somehow the industry’s fault? Spare me

we need outrage! we need dicks!! (the table is the table), Wednesday, 11 May 2022 11:24 (one week ago) link

xpost

I don't think it's grotesque. We really know nothing about Bello and her life and income and her mental health. We're basing our thoughts about her based on our need for schadenfraude (especially when we get the rare chance to direct that schadenfraude at a black woman) and our assumption that plagiarists are singular dolts who deserve special punishment. I mean, she is clearly a dolt, and what happened to her is funny and probably deserved, but it's okay for there to be more to the story too.

Chuck_Tatum, Wednesday, 11 May 2022 11:26 (one week ago) link

essentially implies that marginalized writers couldn’t possibly have free will

no but it does imply that there isn't a level playing field

Chuck_Tatum, Wednesday, 11 May 2022 11:27 (one week ago) link

yeah but...obv ppl from marginalized backgrounds face greater challenges in publishing as everywhere else but to hold an instance of a person who was given far more opportunities than 99% of ppl currently struggling to work in the sector up as an example of that is grotesque imo.

imago, Wednesday, 11 May 2022 11:31 (one week ago) link

or perhaps you could say that inequalities run deeper than you might expect, to include who might superficially appear to have had "more opportunities"

again, this is not to excuse plagiarism but to be a bit more empathetic about why fuckups fuckup

Chuck_Tatum, Wednesday, 11 May 2022 11:37 (one week ago) link

*to include people

Chuck_Tatum, Wednesday, 11 May 2022 11:37 (one week ago) link

Well, speaking as a professional writer...fuck plagiarists forever, no excuse is acceptable, end of story. Fuck outta here, someone else gets your spot now.

but also fuck you (unperson), Wednesday, 11 May 2022 11:40 (one week ago) link

I don't really see why plagiarism is the only inexcusable crime, unaffected by systemic inequality. And I'm a former professional writer fwiw (which is nothing).

Chuck_Tatum, Wednesday, 11 May 2022 11:45 (one week ago) link

We really know nothing about Bello and her life and income and her mental health

But we know that she got a publishing deal, and we know that after fucking that up she got a chance at writing about that for a popular publication. If you don't think that's a position of privilege I don't really know what to tell you.

Tbc I couldn't care less about getting schadenfreude from this, what I do care about is that situation getting compared to ppl in prison. It's the pomposity and dishonesty of the tweet I'm reacting to, not the original writer's infractions.

Daniel_Rf, Wednesday, 11 May 2022 11:51 (one week ago) link

yep

imago, Wednesday, 11 May 2022 11:55 (one week ago) link

I get no schadenfreude from it, ftr. I hope Bello finds what she is looking for!

But cosign with Daniel’s post— she was certainly in a position of relative privilege, and she violated rules that would get any author nixed. I know that many of us have friends who are part of marginalized groups who are brilliant writers and who would absolutely be over the moon to have the advantages that Bello was afforded. There is nothing carceral about what happened to Bello.

The real carceral thinking in publishing is related to the legibility of marginalized voices to an assumed white readership— those who do not write to satisfy the white gaze (in its many forms) are either sidelined or punished when they attempt something different.

we need outrage! we need dicks!! (the table is the table), Wednesday, 11 May 2022 12:16 (one week ago) link

I hope Bello finds what she is looking for!

Well, she does know how to use Google

Halfway there but for you, Wednesday, 11 May 2022 12:57 (one week ago) link

not really a direct response to the above, but some of these issues are why I'm looking forward to Olúfemi O. Táíwò’s new one: https://nymag.com/intelligencer/article/olufemi-taiwo-identity-politics-elite-capture.html

rob, Wednesday, 11 May 2022 14:59 (one week ago) link

not really a direct response to the above, but some of these issues are why I'm looking forward to Olúfemi O. Táíwò’s new one: https://nymag.com/intelligencer/article/olufemi-taiwo-identity-politics-elite-capture.html🕸


thanks for mentioning it, looks interesting!

we need outrage! we need dicks!! (the table is the table), Wednesday, 11 May 2022 15:33 (one week ago) link

I hope Bello finds what she is looking for!

Well, she does know how to use Google

― Halfway there but for you, Wednesday, May 11, 2022 5:57 AM (three hours ago)

hahahahahahahahahah omg lol

sarahell, Wednesday, 11 May 2022 16:48 (one week ago) link

Not exactly literary but while we're talking comical acts of plagiarism

https://www.dukechronicle.com/article/2022/05/duke-university-commencement-student-speaker-2022-similarities-harvard-2014-speech

Guayaquil (eephus!), Wednesday, 11 May 2022 18:07 (one week ago) link

copyright is kinda bullshit and people should be able to plagiarise as much as they want

this reads as if you think the work that writers produce is functionally indistinguishable, as interchangeable as the labor required to string popcorn using a needle and thread, except you are stringing words into sentences.

more difficult than I look (Aimless), Wednesday, 11 May 2022 18:36 (one week ago) link

I meant legally rather than aesthetically or morally! But yeah, language should be free to use. It may have professional or social consequences, but I don't like it being a matter for the courts.

imago, Wednesday, 11 May 2022 18:42 (one week ago) link

the legality comes in with the concept of just compensation for work performed. if something has no recognized value or no no known owner, you can take it without fear of legal liability, but if it has both a recognizable value and a known owner, then the taking of it without just compensation transforms into theft.

more difficult than I look (Aimless), Wednesday, 11 May 2022 18:48 (one week ago) link

this is an interesting topic and I wish I had a better handle on the theory, but it feels like the balance, legally speaking, is too heavily weighted in favour of the 'owner' of the copyrighted work, although I appreciate that academic plagiarism is a different and probably much more serious offence than fiction plagiarism

imago, Wednesday, 11 May 2022 18:59 (one week ago) link

probably much more serious offence than fiction plagiarism

why? fiction has different goals and techniques, but it is not less difficult to do well. if I found someone had just blithely appropriated large verbatim chunks of my novel as their own work and sold it to a publisher, with no permission, no attribution, and no compensation. I'd be furious.

more difficult than I look (Aimless), Wednesday, 11 May 2022 19:05 (one week ago) link

oh same, but I wouldn't want to get the courts involved. 'dragged on Twitter' honestly feels like the right punishment nowadays, if social media has given us one thing it is a mechanism for instant ridicule that occasionally proves valuable

imago, Wednesday, 11 May 2022 19:11 (one week ago) link

plus that publisher would almost certainly drop them as a result

imago, Wednesday, 11 May 2022 19:11 (one week ago) link

it's precisely because the publishers chose not to publish when they discovered the plagiarism that this will end with the author just being dragged on Twitter rather than ending up in the courts. Presumably, any advances paid must also be paid back. When money starts changing hands and none of it is going to the real author then the courts get interested.

more difficult than I look (Aimless), Wednesday, 11 May 2022 19:28 (one week ago) link

Genuinely weeping with joy as I type this: @believermag will live on, headed home to @mcsweeneys. We did this y'all, and now it's on every one of us to subscribe and keep supporting. OK LET'S GO GET A DRINK https://t.co/lRolzyySt2

— Kristen Radtke (@KristenRadtke) May 16, 2022

deep luminous trombone (Eazy), Monday, 16 May 2022 19:11 (two days ago) link


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