Tuesday, November 01, 2005

Sick feeling

I won't link to the story (no sense in piling on when it's readily available at the Chronicle) but the recent revelation that an award winning short fiction collection "contains uncredited material" leading to the revoking of the award and recall of the book makes me sad, sick. I don't know the author, except that he teaches at Mississippi State, had, in fact, offered to help unload my stuff when I was moving there, and is a native of Tuscaloosa, a town that left a large imprint upon my life. So I feel a distant, tenuous connection to him, and to think that this book, his first, ends so ignominiously and presumably casts considerable pall upon his academic career is sad indeed. Not that I can excuse the offense here, because I believe the actions by the press are most likely just, but I'm moved all the same. In thinking back to when I was first beginning to think that a book of mine just might be possible some day, in remembering all the worry and fretting and dreaming that was poured out on to what was then just loose pages, I can't help but think of his book and what happens to it now. I imagine it will be pulped, the remaining stock. What about his copies? Does he get to keep any? One? Would he want to? Would I? Would you?

I haven't read either of the books involved so I have no idea how serious the issue is. I would hope it's a matter of ignorance or oversight. Regardless, it's a sad end to somebody's dream, even when it's their own fault.

3 comments:

Ali Davis said...

Oh dear, dear, dear. He's a friend of mine.

Paul said...

It's an awful situation.

jeannine said...

Yes, he's a good-hearted, extremely sweet guy, and a hell of a writer. It's a really sad situation.