In the way of medical treatments, she had already dabbed gentian violet on ringworm, aquaflavine emulsion on a cut, and painted lead lotion on a bruise.
I detect no mash-up here, no adding of value, and no "creative use," to quote Pynchon's generous letter of support. McEwan helps himself to Andrews' words as if they first appeared on the planet in one of his rough drafts. To protest, as he does, that her memoir served as "research" is a lie. McEwan rewrote Andrews' vivid copy and called it his own. The laugh of larceny is that the Booker Prize-winner didn't even improve it.
Plagiarism or inspiration? Let me know your views, which will be graded for originality at firstname.lastname@example.org. (E-mail may be quoted by name unless the writer stipulates otherwise. Permanent disclosure: Slate is owned by the Washington Post Co.)
TODAY IN SLATE
More Than Scottish Pride
What Charles Barkley Gets Wrong About Corporal Punishment and Black Culture
Why Greenland’s “Dark Snow” Should Worry You
Three Talented Actresses in Three Terrible New Shows
The Human Need to Find Connections in Everything
It’s the source of creativity and delusions. It can harm us more than it helps us.
Happy Constitution Day!
Too bad it’s almost certainly unconstitutional.