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Thomas Pynchon Defends Ian McEwan Against Plagiarism

pynchonletter.jpgIn 2006, the reclusive novelist Thomas Pynchon rose to the defense of Ian McEwan during a controversy over alleged plagiarism in McEwan’s novel, Atonement.

Pynchon mailed a typewritten letter to the novelist’s British publisher, declaring: “Writers are naturally drawn, chimpanzee-like, to the color and the music of this English idiom.” The excellent Letters of Note site has a copy of the letter, where Pynchon dismissed the scandal and urged readers to be grateful for the book.

Check it out: “Memoirs of the Blitz have borne indispensable witness, and helped later generations know something of the tragedy and heroism of those days. For Mr. McEwan to have put details from one of them to further creative use, acknowledging this openly and often, and then explaining it clearly and honorably, surely merits not our scolding, but our gratitude.” (Via The Millions)

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