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Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Gentian Violet, Ringworm, Aquaflavine Emulsion, Lead Lotion

posted by on November 28 at 14:11 PM


In 1977, the little old lady on top published this sentence in a book:

Our ‘nursing’ seldom involved more than dabbing gentian violet on ringworm, aquaflavine emulsion on cuts and scratches, lead lotion on bruises and sprains.

In 2001, the man on bottom published this sentence in a book:

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.

Her name is Lucilla Andrews. His name is Ian McEwan.

Some people are outraged. He is standing his ground. She is dead.

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Dylan must have picked up a case of McEwan-itis while "writing" the lyrics for Modern Times.

Posted by In my opinion | November 28, 2006 2:28 PM

Men marginalizing women, and then stealing their ideas? That has never happened before.....wait...wait...oh yeah, it happens ALL THE TIME.

I hope he pays for being so blatant.

Posted by Monique | November 28, 2006 2:57 PM

Remember that there's really nothing new under the sun in the arts. Even the most inventive of artists are standing on the shoulders of others. If their ego doesn't let them admit it, well, what else is new.

One contemporary architect put it this way: Mediocre design "borrows" its ideas; good design "steals" its ideas. Perhaps McEwan.did a bit of both in his book. The identical phrasing was clearly borrowed. But it sounds like he might have stolen Andrews' art and put it to his own good use.

Posted by orson | November 28, 2006 4:07 PM

Who fucking cares? The ganked sentence is not going to make him ten million dollars. People should get over their pretentious selves.

What about the rest of the book? Let's judge that before judging the OMG SENTENCE HE TOOK FROM A PULP WRITER.

I'm gonna write a novel and quote Shakespeare in a paragraph. Hate me, Critics. Daddy needs some anti-love.

Posted by Gomez | November 28, 2006 6:08 PM

McEwan wrote a defense in The Guardian yesterday. It seems pretty clear that he merely used the book as a legimately cited information source.

Posted by Gabriel | November 29, 2006 7:00 AM

What's wrong with being a pulp writer? Some of the greatest fiction started out as pulps.

Posted by elswinger | November 29, 2006 2:58 PM

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