I often joke that I have no original thoughts in my little head, which is why I quote movies constantly. Being such a cinephile makes me quite popular with fellow Gen X dudes at parties and stuff, because I can quote Swingers, Stripes and Goodfellas with the best of ‘em. Oh, you think I’m funny? How’m I funny? What am I, like some kind of clown? What am I here to amuse you?
Which got me thinking about poor Kaavya Viswanathan. I never thought the Opal Mehta book sounded interesting or original enough to fetch a half a million-dollar advance in the first place. And, of course, turns out it wasn’t original at all. But I also don’t think we need to criminalize the girl. So, here’s my thing about that…
Just like I watch certain movies over and over multiple times, Kaavya apparently liked to read certain “Chick-Lit” novels over and over. I have no doubt that she unintentionally wrote passages in her novel that were similar to the ones she had read repeatedly as a teen. UNINTENTIONALLY.
Our subconscious mind does strange things. I mean, sometimes I’ll be telling a story, and I’ll be like, “This one time…at band camp…” Then I stop. Wait. Did that really happen to me or did I see that in a movie? It happens. And I really doubt if a brilliant Harvard undergrad would have the bad sense to intentionally plagiarize some very popular teen chick lit novels.
And now some people are pushing for Harvard to kick the girl out! For what? Having such a full brain that she can’t remember which are her original thoughts and which are from favorite novels? Geez…give the girl a break!
Now, Jay will probably say that after defending James Frey and now Miss Viswanathan, my ethics are in question and I should re-think my dream of becoming an author. But I don't care. C’mon. You know I’ve been training to be a cage fighter anyway.