Postcolonial plagiarisms: Yambo Ouloguem, Calixthe Beyala, and Witi Ihimaera.
In November 2009, the New Zealand literary world was convulsed in the manner peculiar to literary worlds by the revelation that Witi Ihimaera, the prominent Maori novelist and Academician, was guilty of plagiarism in his most recent novel, The Trowenna Sea, which tells the story of Hohepa Te Umuroa (c. 1825-1847). In May 1846, Te Umuroa took part in a notorious attack on Boulcott's farm in the Hutt Valley near Wellington (Ihimaera 162-66). (1) Arrested in August the same year, he and six companions were sentenced to be "transported for life" after a court martial of dubious legality: the defendents had no Maori-speaking representation and were directed that their only option was to plead guilty. They were sent to Australia to a penal colony on Tasmania, or as it was then called, Van Diemen's Land. There Te Umuroa died shortly afterwards of tuberculosis. The case had generated an outpouring of outrage in the Australian press. Te Umuroa was buried in a public rather than a convict cemetery and a headstone was raised on his grave with inscriptions in both Maori and English. Te Umuroa's fellow prisoners were returned to New Zealand in 1848, but Te Umuroa's body was not repatriated until 1988 when the remains were identified and returned to New Zealand with impressive public ceremony to be buried among his people on Patiarero Marae on the Whanganui River. (2)
Witi Ihimaera had been the doyen of Maori letters. He published his first volume of short stories, Pounamu, Pounamu in 1972 and his first novel, Tangi, in 1973. The Trowenna Sea is his eleventh novel. He has published six volumes of short stories, a play, and substantially revised and republished his first three works. (3) He is Professor and Distinguished Creative Fellow in Maori Literature at the University of Auckland where he established and continues to run a flourishing Masters program in Creative Writing. The same month the plagiarism charges surfaced, Ihimaera was named one of five Arts Laureates by the New Zealand Arts Foundation.
This now seemed to be the replay of a script that had been aired before, once in the late sixties and again in the middle nineties. The first had involved Yambo Ouloguem, a Francophone novelist from Mali, then French Equatorial Africa. The second, a generation later, occurred in early 1996 when Calixthe Beyala, a Francophone novelist from Cameroon, was convicted of plagiarism in a case she did not contest. Later on in the same year she was subject to another plagiarism scandal relating to another of her novels.
Plagiarism--that is, the appropriation of someone else's (here) written text, either deliberately or inadvertently--is probably more common than most people realize. (4) When it comes to light it is usually settled amicably without much of a fuss being made. When the perpetrators involved are political figures, the results can be far more serious. (5) But when a plagiarism case sends a literary world into a tizzy with respected intellectuals lining up on opposing sides of the ensuing debate, then it is clear that something else is going on. Marilyn Randall has stated that plagiarism involves "two fundamental axioms": "plagiarism is in the eye of the beholder, and ... plagiarism is power" (vii; emphasis in original). This is certainly true in all three of the cases examined here, and it is interesting that the circumstances surrounding these three cases reveal their conforming to a predictable pattern of accusation, defense, and finally inaction. All three writers under consideration may be classified as postcolonial novelists; that is, they are writers from a region that was formerly a European colony, although Ihimaera is properly to be regarded as a First Nations writer, someone whose peoples were dispossessed of their ancestral lands by the arriving settlers and who survive as a minority and marginalized population in the newly independent nation. All three writers are accused of plagiarism in their novels, and all three are in a sense redefining the novel in terms of their own cultural appropriation of the form, because in neither Mali, nor Cameroon, nor in Polynesian New Zealand is the novel an indigenous form of expression. One way of looking at the three cases is to claim that all three writers are accused of improprieties more against the form of the novel than in defense of somebody else's intellectual property.
Because the emphasis in this paper is on how plagiarism is resented in the eye of the beholder rather than on what the nature of the plagiarism was or any discussion of whether plagiarism did or did not take place, I will not be getting involved in the various issues involving copyright and the definitions of intellectual property, although these are obviously essential aspects of any discussion of plagiarism (these issues are dealt with thoroughly in Johns' study). As the digitalization of books proceeds apace there will be no end of discussion on these matters and the ramifications resulting from how the definition of these terms continues to evolve. There is already some suggestion that an electronic copy of a book may be copyright by the entity that places it on the web if it is out of copyright in print. We have certainly come a long way from 1772 when Voltaire in his Questions sur l'Encyclopedie stated: "It is hereby permitted to any bookseller to [re] print my silliness, be it true or false, at his risk, perii and profit" (quoted in Darnton 4).
Yambo Ouologuem, the subject of the first case study here, was born in 1940 in Bandiagara in the Dogon region of south-central Mali into one of the most prominent families in the region (Ouedraogo 425). His privileged origin accounts for what must have been a superior education in French Colonial schools and the opportunity to go to Paris to study at the Ecole Normale Superieure. There he took degrees in English and philosophy and began his doctoral studies in sociology. In 1968 the prestigious publishing house Editions de Seuil issued a novel, under his name, entitled Le Devoir de Violence (DV), subsequently translated into English by the prominent translator Ralph Manheim under the title Bound to Violence (B V) and appearing as number 99 in the prestigious African Writers Series published by Heinemann. This was a novel like no other African novel which had appeared to date. It was immediately hailed as "the first African novel worthy of the name" and an example of "authentic Africanness." (6) Soon after the novel's appearance it was awarded the prestigious Prix Renaudot, which numbers among its prior laureates Marcel Ayme, Louis-Ferdinand Celine, Louis Aragon, and Edouard Glissant.
Le Devoir de violence deals with the history of the fictional central African kingdom of Nakem from its founding in 1202 to the late 1940s (Ngate 61-66). The early history of the kingdom is a chronicle of violence, including a deep involvement in the slave trade, first eastwards towards Arab lands and subsequently westwards, involving the Atlantic slave trade. Much of the narrative concerns the kingdom's last traditional ruler, the Sa'if ben Isaac al-Heit, who comes to power towards the end of the nineteenth century and is still ruling at the novel's conclusion. It portrays him as a cunning and ruthless leader who does everything possible to protect his own interests and those of his class at the expense of the majority of the people who are in effect sacrificed to the whims of their new colonial masters in much the same way as their ancestors had been sacrificed to the slavers' gold and guns. A decade was to pass before there was a similar searing indictment of traditional African elites, this time in the 1979 novel Two Thousand Seasons by the Ghanaian writer Ayi Kwei Armah. Here Africa is depicted as torn apart by the depredations of what are referred to as the "predators" (Arab Muslims) and the "destroyers" (European Christians), both operating with the connivance of traditional chiefs and leading headmen who have no qualms about sending their own people off to slavery in the Arab world or to experience the horrors of the Middle Passage. (7) But what made Ouologuem's novel particularly sensational in France is that it was a frontal attack on and a repudiation of the Francophone conception of negritude. As espoused by the Martinician Aime Cesaire and the Senagalese Leopold Senghor, this concept postulated an idealized and undifferentiated Africa before the arrival of the Europeans. Ouologuem (and Armah after him), by contrast, attempted to demonstrate that the African elites did not need to wait until the arrival of the Europeans to discover corruption. (8) From the very first appearance of the novel, various African intellectuals attacked it for its inauthentic portrayal of traditional African Society, while the European intellectual elite was obsessed with discovering what it thought was the truth about Africa. In lauding Le Devoir de Violence as the very text they were looking for, they demonstrated that they had not read the novel attentively, because Ouologuem had laid out for them the folly and delusion of such an enterprise. Parts 4-5 of section three of the novel, "La nuit des geants" (DV, 100-12; new ed., 137-52; BV, 85-96), recounts the sojourn in Nekem of the German anthropologist Fritz Shrobenius (a lightly disguised Leo Frobenius [1873-1938], the German anthropologist admired by Senghor) (9) and his party who have arrived to uncover the "real" Africa, "frappee de la manie tatonnante de vouloir ressusciter, sous coleur d ' autonomie culturelle, un univers africain qui ne corerespondait d plus rien de vivant" (DV, 192; new ed. 140). (10) Sa'if ben Isaac alHei't was only too willing to be helpful, spinning fantastic stories about the significance of African symbols: "Sa'if donc--et la practique est courant de nos jours encores--fit enterrer des quintaux de masques hativement executes a la ressamblance des originaux, les engloutissant dans les mares, marais, etangs, marecages, lacs, limons--quitte a les exhumer quelque temps apres, les venduant aux curieux et profanes a prix d' or" (DV, 112; new ed., 152). (11)
Shrobenius returns to Europe, making himself very wealthy by selling the pieces he has collected and establishing "[u] ne ecole africaniste ainsi accrochee aux nues du symbolisme magico-religieux, cosmologique et mythique" (DV 112; new ed., 152). (12) If the European quest for authentic African art was a fraud, it should stand to reason that the quest for an authentic African novel should be just as fruitless.
The plagiarism controversy surrounding Le Devoir de Violence has been minutely documented. (13) Ouologuem claimed that the targeted sections had been offset by quotation marks in his manuscript but that these and the references to non-African writers had been removed by the publisher who, however, denied that this was the case. It stands to reason that Ouologuem's version is the correct one, the publisher had a vested interest in promoting an "authentic" African novel, not the author. References to historical seventeenth century Arabic works on the Songhay Empire such as Timbukti's Tarikh al-fattash and Sa' di's Tarikh es-Soudan could stay, but references to Andre Schwartz-Bart or Graham Green could not. (14)
When the scandal broke over Ouologuem 's alleged plagiarism, those who had earlier been loudest in praise of the novel now moved to the forefront of condemning it. They were not amused to discover that Le Devoir de violence, which is indeed an authentic African novel, was not authentic in their meaning of the word, that is, not content with describing an Africa as these critics would wish to have it described. Instead the novel is a reflection on a contemporary Africa, a product of colonial and traditional influences that gives a critical and unflinching appraisal of the strengths and, particularly, the weaknesses of both.
Ouologuem tried to defend himself, but his protestations of innocence were shouted down. (15) As in all three cases discussed here, the so-called plagiarism occurred in an insignificant portion of the work as a whole, but its existence was sufficient in some quarters to call for the repudiation of the author and the damning of the novel. Although there were always those who spoke in his defense, (16) the controversy had serious consequences for Ouologuem as it appeared to mean that his literary career was finished and his reputation as a writer and scholar forever tarnished. He retreated to Mali around 1975 to devote himself to religious matters and turned his back on the French literary world. (17) But Le Devoir de violence refused to go away and over the years its reputation increased in both the Anglophone and Francophone worlds. Finally after having been unavailable for more than thirty years, it was republished in 2003 with an introduction by Christopher Wise, who discusses the plagiarism affair (14-29) but whose edition follows the original edition of 1968 without any indication of which passages are in dispute. (18) Thus in the end the controversy has run into the sand. Readers are interested in the work as a whole, not whether this bit comes from here and that bit from there. In a work of scholarship, plagiarism is still a very serious offence and can have nasty political and social consequences. But in a work of fiction it is subsumed under the heading of pastiche, bricolage, hybridism, or dialogism. (19) This blurring of lines will become apparent when we examine the accusations of plagiarism made against works by Beyala and Ihimaera, both of whom, and their works, were rehabilitated after a short period of time.
Calixthe Beyala was born in Douala, Cameroon, in 1961, the sixth of twelve children. In 1978 she migrated to France and nine years later published her first novel, C' est le soleil qui m' a brulee (Ekotto 68-69). This and Tu t' appelleras Tanga were published by the venerable publishing house, Editions Stock. Seul le diable le savait ("Only the devii knew it") appeared in 1990 under the imprint of Le Pre aux Clercs, a publisher specializing in fantasy and esoterica. With her fourth novel, Le Petit prince de Belleville (1992) she switched to the major publishing house of Albin Michel, and since then her career has never looked back. (20) She is one of the few African authors who can support herself by her writing, receiving substantial advances on her work and achieving sales in the mid 1990s of 150,000 copies in trade paperback and another 150,000 copies in reprint editions (Hitchcott, Beyala 2). She has published fifteen novels to date, and her most recent work, a history of the Cameroonian soccer team (Les lions indomptables), appeared in 2010. She makes frequent television appearances both in France and in Cameroon and is a media celebrity, a role she takes full advantage of: Her 2007 novel, L'homme qui m' offerait le ciel ("The Man who Offered Me the Sky") is a thinly disguised account of her affair with French Television personality, Michel Drucker. (21) Her behavior raised the hackles of some of the old guard of the anticolonial struggle, like the late Mongo Beti (1932-2001), who had been forced into a life of exile in France. It led them to regard Beyala, who moves easily between France and Cameroon, as an arrivist, a panderer to right-wing prejudices and a trivializer (Beti 43-46).
Only three of her early works have appeared in English, all three appearing 1995-1996 in Heinemann's prestigious African Writers Series. But this neglect also says something about Beyala's early work. By the middle 1990s the African Writers Series had shrunk its list. The editors appear to have been only interested in those titles that might appeal to the series' core constituency, a reading public that was still interested in encountering "authentic" Africa and revealing "some of the characteristic preoccupations of the anthropological exotic: the desire for authenticity, projected onto the screen of a' real" Africa; ... the attempt to co-opt African literature into a Euro-American morality play centering on the need to understand' foreign' cultures; the further co-option of this educative process for the purpose of lending moral credence to a self-serving romantic quest" (Huggan 54). (22) Even though they had published an English translation of Ouologuem's Le Devoir de violence, the editors of the African Writers Series favored novels that dealt less with the realities of contemporary African life, especially urban life (unless there is plenty of sex and violence), but rather those that highlighted the exoticism of African village life. (Many of the novels of Buchi Emecheta and Flora Nwapa come to mind.) The prime example of such a work is Chinua Achebe's Things Fall Apart, first published in 1958, and still considered by many not only to be the epitome of African fiction, but the only African novel that is worth reading. While Beyala's early novels are not novels set in rural villages, they either have plenty of sex and violence or they deal with children and their difficulties growing up in Africa in a world of urban violence.
During her time publishing with Albin Michel, Beyala has turned away from African exoticism and writes now more about the experiences of the African diaspora in France and this new focus, too, has earned her criticism with charges that she has turned her back on Africa. (23) But Beyala follows her own instincts, and it appears that the reading public approves of her choices. (24)
The year 1996 must have been an interesting one for Beyala. The previous year the venerable left-wing satirical magazine, Le Canard enchaine, had published an expose of Beyala's Le petit prince de Belleville, suggesting that significant portions of the novel had been adapted silently from a popular book--about an autistic boy and his difficulties in coping with adult authorit--called Quand j' avais 5 ans, je m' ai tue, by the American writer Howard Buten. (25) On the strength of this article, Buten's French publisher, Editions du Seuil (Ouologuem's publisher no less), sued Beyala's publisher Albin Michel for damages. The High Court in Paris found in favor of the plaintiffs. Beyala on the advice of her publishers chose not to contest the case and a substantial fine and costs were assessed (Hitchcott, "Prizes" 103). In acquiescing to the Court's ruling, Beyala neither admitted having plagiarized Buten's work nor defended herself against the charges. The incident attracted little media attention (Hitchcott, Beyala 15). (26)
In October of the same year Beyala published her novel Les honneurs perdus, which contrasts the tension between tradition (exemplified by Saida Benerafa from the Douala shanty town of Couscousville) and modernity (her Senegalese friend Ngaremba) in the immigrant community in the Parisian suburb of Belleville (Hitchcott, Women 143-44). Upon its appearance the novel was awarded the Grand Prix du roman de l'Academie Francaise, one of France's most important literary awards. (27) One month later the biographer and journalist Pierre Assouline went public with an accusation in the prestigious literary monthly Lire, of which he was the editor, that Beyala had plagiarized Ben Okri's Booker Prize winning novel of 1991, The Famished Road, translated into French in 1994. (28) (Although the only substantial similarity between both works is that each has a road in it). He also attacked the French Academy for giving its prestigious prize to a second-rate writer. In subsequent articles he added other authors whom he claimed that she had plagiarized from, and he resurrected the successful Editions du Seuil suit against Beyala. The ensuing uproar, "L'affair Beyala," seems to have been motivated primarily by professional and political rivalry, and it is significant that Okri's French publisher declined to pursue the matter (Hitchcott, "Prizes" 103). Beyala never formally replied to the accusations, but she defended herself by manipulating skillfully her position as a media celebrity in newspaper articles and on television (Hitchcott, "Prizes" 103-07). It is clear that Assouline's charges of plagiarism were very much in the eye of the beholder. It was also very much an issue of power, expressed as resentment at the popularity and high public profile of Beyala, resentment over her not behaving as an African writer should behave, nor as a woman, nor as an African living in France. The only response Beyala made can be found on the concluding page of her autobiographical novel, La petite fille du reverbere ("The Little Girl of the Streetlamp"); "Je revins sur mes pas, pour alimenter les Missies (29) Riene Poussalire [= Pierre Assouline], ces critiques envieux, et leur permettre de continuer une carriere infertile qui, selon Alexandre Dumas, n' apporte au monde litteraire que ces couronnes de ronces qu' ils ont tressees et qu' ils enfoncent en riant sur la tete du poete vainqueur ou vaincu" (233). (30)
By standing firm and compromising none of her principles, Beyala weathered this tempest in a teapot. She continues to write her novels as she sees fit, and people line up to buy them. She flourishes under the media spotlight and continues to bait her left wing critics with outrageous statements, such as her public support for the Libyan dictator Muammar Gaddafi (in 2007) and her support of the bid of the defeated President of the Ivory Coast, Laurent Koudou Gbagbo, to remain in power during the civil war (2010-2011). She equally annoys the French right wing and in particular singles out President Nicholas Sarkozy, whom she blames for blocking her election to the Secretary-Generalship of the Organisation Internationale de la Francophonie (OIF) in 2010. She serves as a role model for other immigrants to not give in to the pressures exerted on them by a society still heavily racist and sexist, no matter how much this may annoy some members of the literary and political establishments.
Witi Ihimaera (2)
Witi Ihimaera, with whom this essay began, was born in Gisborne, New Zealand, in 1944. He went to university, worked as a journalist and also served many years in the diplomatic corps. Although gaining a significant reputation as the "first Maori novelist," he stopped published for more than ten years after the appearance of The New Net Goes Fishing in 1977 because he felt that audience expectations trapped him in his rural narratives. His publishers were a branch of the same Heinemann Company responsible for the African Writers Series, although they had no equivalent series for the Pacific region. (31) Ihimaera felt stifled by his self-censorship and the reluctance of his editors to approve anything political or controversial. Since 2003 he has been revising and rewriting his early work according to what he claims is the way he had originally imagined these texts. He took up his current academic post at the University of Auckland in 1993 and in 1995 published Nights in the Gardens of Spain, a thinly disguised, semi-autobiographical work which marked his official announcement that he was gay. (32)
The first novel Ihimaera published after his ten year silence was The Matriarch (1986). This work was everything the earlier writings were not: violent, political, and suffused with anger at the injustices of a century and a half of colonization. In terms of narrative technique it was also very different. There are three paragraphs of acknowledgments to other published works on the gutter page following the title. (33) Other sources are mentioned in the body of the text. But not all. There was a bit of a stir when it was noticed that some sections of the novel appropriated previously published work without acknowledgment. Although Mackay's Historic Poverty Bay is mentioned in the acknowledgments, in the body of the novel there is nothing to indicate that a long paragraph on page 242 is in fact lifted from Mackay's history, page 307, where it is indented and set in smaller type as an excerpt from the local newspaper, "The Standard." (34) Equally problematic was the way Ihimaera appropriated parts of Keith Sorrenson's article on the "Effects of the Wars on the Maori People," which appeared in An Encyclopaedia of New Zealand. (35) It is not that Ihimaera copies the encyclopaedia text verbatim; rather, he appropriates the text as the occasion for comments of his own. (36) This sampling may perhaps be compared to the way hip-hop artists use the work of others, a practice that has kept the copyright lawyers busy trying to make sure that no royalty payment is ever missed. (37) Ihimaera apologized to Sorrenson with the rather lame excuse that he thought that, since it was an encyclopaedia, it was in the public domain (which reminds one of the early years of Wikipedia when great chunks of the 11th edition of the Encyclopedia Britannica where presented as current material without acknowledgment, a practice which seems no longer tolerated). But probably the reality is that Ihimaera is a novelist, not an historian.
Publishers of fiction are reluctant to burden their works with footnotes or references, as they believe that the reading public will not put up with it (as the cinema going public is supposed to be put off by films with subtitles). While Sorrenson' s complaint made it into a newspaper article in 1989, it caused no reaction whatsoever and was promptly forgotten, resurfacing only as a result of the controversy surrounding The Trowenna Sea.
This particular novel is an ambitiouswork, 521 pages in length. The author's acknowledgements and thank-yous run seven pages, including two full pages which begin: "Texts consulted include" (524). Almost immediately after the novel appeared, Jolisa Gracewood published a critical review in The Listener, a New Zealand weekly, and later, on line, identified some sixteen instances where work had been copied without acknowledgment, especially from Karen Sinclair's Maori Times, Maori Place, a title which was not listed among those consulted. (38) The controversy was already fairly heated when Ihimaera was named an Arts Laureate, an acknowledgment as prestigious as Ouologuem's Prix Renaudot or Beyala's Grand Prix du roman de l'Academie Francaise. Once again here was a plagiarism case in which the misdeed lay in the eye of the beholder; it appears that the total amount of text involved was around one thousand words out of 521 pages. And then there were the issues of power. Ihimaera is a prominent public figure in the literary world and a high profile University Professor. But he had annoyed some people with his support of Maori land rights and other radical causes (39) and with his public homosexuality. For them this was not the way a decent person is supposed to behave, nor a Maori, if he wants to be respected. Ihimaera apologized profusely and offered to buy back the remaining stock. The publisher, Penguin, New Zealand, said it would withdraw unsold copies from the bookstores and promised a new revised edition of the novel in 2010. It is not clear if Ihimaera bought many extra copies. The book remained on book store shelves, and in September of 2010 Penguin announced that there would be no revised reprint. In sum, although some bloggers continue to foam, Ihimaera, like Beyala still seems to have his reputation intact. On the other hand sales of the book seem not to have been particularly robust as the general tenor of reviews was not very favorable for reasons having nothing to do with the accusations of plagiarism. This I suspect was the principal reason for Penguin's decision in November 2010 not to reprint the book in a revised or any other form. Ihimaera is due to release another novel, The Parihaka Woman, in October 2011, not with his longtime publisher, Reed/Raupo/Penguin, but with Vintage, an imprint of Random House (New Zealand), a Rupert Murdoch company.
Whereas many other writers such as Brion Gysin with his cut-up method and Kathy Acker with her pastiches seem to be immune from charges of plagiarism, the postcolonial writer faces a double-bind. Such a writer must find a voice in the novel, a form that is ultimately alien to any indigenous tradition, and such a writer must find a voice that challenges the traditions or run the risk of being accused of colonial mimicry. Some scholars have tried to identify an important feature of the postcolonial novel as this very colonial mimicry, part of which is expressed by resorting to textual bricolage without worrying too much about the claims of copyright laws and the defense of "intellectual property" (both of which is seen as a neo-colonial ploy). Part of the problem is the pressure on the postcolonial writer by publishers and reading public to deliver authentic texts, usually in terms of what Huggan has termed the "anthropological exotic" (34-57, 269-75). Hitchcott in reference to "L'affaire Beyala" comments that; "Through being almost simultaneously identified as both authentic and fake, Beyala and her texts are symptomatic of what Huggan calls the 'post-colonial exotic', where the postcolonial meets the demands of the global marketplace" ("Prizes" 107).
On one level, Ouologuem, Beyala, and Ihimaera are vulnerable to charges of plagiarism. But externai factors have also played a role: publishing houses intent on capitalizing on indigenous authenticity, carelessness, pressure to met deadlines, sloppiness about sources (since the work being prepared is a novel, not a history text where scrupulousness about sources is required). The offending passages are transferred into a new environment, where they shine very differently. For some authors this method a measure of their artistic achievement. For others it opens the floodgates of vilification for light-fingeredness and failure to respect private property.
Yet as these three cases show, if a writer has power equivalent or greater to the power of those bringing the charges, it is possible to weather the storm and to lay bare the inadequacy of the grounds from which their opponents prepare these charges. Postcolonial plagiarism, while it appears on the surface to be the same a plagiarism in general, is often subtly different revealing strands of racism and gender discrimination, and the sometimes not so subtle desire to put the native in his place. These cases have become high profile events because in a very real sense these writers are judged by a different set of standards than those applied to non-postcolonial writers. Nor is this pressure restricted to the postcolonial writer in the metropolis, for it is not just the postcolonial exotic which has been under pressure to produce authentic texts and which has responded, not this time with plagiarism, but with outright fakery. Although Australia is a settler colony with all the attendant privileges, the path to an Australian literary identity has not been easy, and the way is littered with literary fakes. Each one of these has precipitated a major scandal and caused much soul-searching, such as was involved in the unmasking of "Ern Malley," "B. Wongar," and "Helen Demidenko." (40) Then there is the case of Colin Johnson, author of ten novels and numerous other works, known since 1988 as "Mudrooroo" ("Paperbark Tree") and celebrated as Australia's most prominent and prolific aboriginal writer. (41) His career collapsed and his reputation evaporated when he was shown in 1996 to be of African-American, not indigenous, descent.
Perhaps these cases help bring us closer to resolving the problem of what distinguishes fair use from plagiarism. Ihimaera and his publishers ignored the complaints made about borrowings in The Matriarch when it was reprinted, revised, and expanded, for the evisions did not extent to acknowledging the use of other's intellectual property. The cases of Ouologuem and Beyala are a little different, for there the accusations of plagiarism were attempts to punish the authors' inauthenticity. Ouologuem suffered the most, but when his work was republished in 2003 it appeared in its original form with no indication, apart from references in the introduction, that any of the text had been adapted from other works. Beyala and her publishers were sued and paid a heavy fine, but the controversies did not affect her popularity or the availability of her works. The ultimate criteria seems to be; Are the works well written and entertaining? If so, they will survive and continue to be commented upon. If not, like The Trowenna Sea, they will be allowed to go out of print and sink into oblivion.
Beti, Mongo. "L'Affaire Calixthe Beyala ou comment sortir du neocolonialisme en litterature." Palabres 1.3-4 (1997): 41-50.
Beyala, Calixthe. La petite fille du reverbere. Roman. Paris: Albin Michel, 1998.
Darnton, Robert. "Can We Create a National Digital Library?" New York Review of Books 57. 16 (October28, 2010): 4.
Ekotto, Frieda. "Beyala, Calixthe." Simon Gikandi, ed. Encyclopedia of African Literature. London: Routledge, 2003. 68-69.
Hitchcott, Nicki. Calixthe Beyala; Performances of Migration, Contemporary French and Francophone Cultures 5. Liverpool: Liverpool University Press, 2006.
--. "Calixthe Beyala: Prizes, Plagiarism, and 'Authenticity'." Research in African Literatures 37 (1996): 100-09.
--. Women Writers in Francophone Africa. Oxford: Berg, 2000.
Huggan, Graham. Postcolonial Exotic; Marketing the Margins. London: Routledge, 2001.
Ihimaera, Witi. The Trowenna Sea. North Shore, Auckland: Penguin Books--Raupo, 2009.
Ngate, Jonathan. Francophone African Fiction; Reading a Literary Tradition. Trenton, NJ: Africa World Press, 1988.
Ouedraogo, Jean. "Ouologuem, Yambo." Simon Gikandi, ed. Encyclopedia of African Literature. London: Routledge, 2003. 425.
Ouologuem, Yambo. Bound to Violence. Trans. Ralph Manheim. African Writers Series 99. Oxford: Heinemann International, 1971. First published: London: Secker and Warburg, 1971.
--.Le Devoir de violence; Roman. Paris: Editions du Seuil, 1968.
--.Le Devoir de violence; Roman. Preface Christopher Wise. Paris: Le Serpent a Plumes, 2003.
Randall, Marilyn. Pragmatic Plagiarism; Authorship, Profit, and Power. Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 2001.
Shaun F. D. Hughes
Department of English, Purdue University
500 Oval Drive, West Lafayette, IN 47907-2038, USA
(1.) On this episode in which a band of some two hundred supporters of the Ngati Toa chieftain, Te Rangihaeata (?-1855) led by the Ngati Haua-te-rangi (Whanganui region) chieftain, Topine Te Mamaku (?-1887) attacked a contingent of fifty-five regular troops (58th Regiment) stationed at Boulcott's farm, a stockaded post in the disputed central Hutt valley, see James Cowan, The New Zealand Wars and Pioneering Period, 3rd ed. (rev.) 2 vols. (Wellington: Government Printer, 1983) 1: 104-11
(2.) Known to the outside world as Hiruhurama ("Jerusalem"). See Karen Sinclair, Maori Times, Maori Place (Lanham, MD: Rowman and Littlefield, 2003; first published: Wellington: Bridget Williams Books, 2002).
(3.) Ihimaera during 2003-2005 re-issued in revised form his early "village fiction": Pounamu, Pounamu (Auckland: Heinemann, 1972), Tangi (Auckland: Heinemann, 1973), and Whanau (Auckland: Heinemann, 1974) as Pounamu, Pounamu Rev. ed. (Birkenhead, Auckland: Reed, 2003), The Rope of Man (Birkenhead, Auckland: Reed, 2005) and Whanau II (Birkenhead, Auckland: Reed, 2004), the first and last under the aegis of "The Anniversary Collection," a series title that appears to have been dropped during a period of rapid change in the publishing industry. The imprint of the venerable publishing house founded by A. H. Reed has disappeared, and Ihimaera's publisher is now a subsidiary of Penguin Group (NZ) it self a part of the Pearson conglomerate. The revised version of The Matriarch (Auckland: Heinemann, 1986) was re-issued under the same title in 2009 (North Shore, Auckland: Penguin Books--Raupo, 2009), the same year as The Trowenna Sea appeared. According to the "Author's Note" to this later volume (497), a revised version of his first urban novel, The New Net Goes Fishing (Auckland: Heinemann, 1977), is underway.
(4.) Another definition might be "the appropriation of someone else's 'intellectual property'," which is also defined as piracy. On piracy, see Adrian Johns, Piracy. The Intellectual Property Wars from Gutenberg to Gates (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2009).
(5.) In March 2011 the German Defense Minister, Karl-Theodor Freiherr zu Guttenberg was forced to resign from political office when it became clear that he had plagiarized significant sections of his (published) doctoral dissertation. Similar fates awaited other German politicians such as Silvana Koch-Mehrin, Member of the European Parliament (resigned her committee and leadership positions, doctorate revoked, June 2011, Georgios ("Jorgo") Chatzimarkakis, Member of the European Parliament (doctorate revoked, July 2011) while the doctoral dissertations of several other prominent politicians are still under review. In 1991, the Journal of American History published a special issue (28. 1) on the revelation that Martin Luther King, Jr, has plagiarized in his unpublished doctoral work, but while this caused a brief media flurry, it appears to have had no impact on King's reputation. See Randall, Pragmatic Plagiarism, 208-11.
(6.) Matthieu Galey, "Un grand roman Africain," Le Monde (October 12, 1968) quoted in Christopher Miller, Blank Darkness: Africanist Discourse in French (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1985) 219.
(7.) While Armah, Ayi Kwei Armah's Two Thousand Seasons (Chicago: Third World Press, 1979) is very different in style and approach from Ouologuem' s, both deal with the history of the great empires of the Western Sudan. See Derek Wright, " Orality in the African Historical Novel; Yambo Ouologuem's Bound to Violence and Ayi Kwei Armah's Two Thousand Seasons," journal of Commonwealth Literature 23 (1988): 99-101, for the way in which they have used the oral sources at their disposal.
(8.) While expose of the involvement of the African elite classes in the slave trade by Ouologuem and Armah may have been controversial when they first appeared, the soundness of their opinions has been confirmed by the work of subsequent scholars such as Claude Meillassoux, The Anthropology of Slavery; The Womb of Iron and Gold, trans. Alide Dasnois (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1991; first published as: Anthropologie de Vesclavage; Le ventre defer et d' argent, Paris: Presses Universitaires de France, 1986).
(9.) See further Christopher Miller, Theories of Africans: Francophone Literature and Anthropology in Africa (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1990)16-21.
(10.) "[A]fflicted with a groping mania for resuscitating an African universe--cultural autonomy, he called it--which had lost all living reality" (BV, 87).
(11.) "And so Saif--and the practice is still current--had" slapdash copies [of African artifacts] buried by the hundredweight, or sunk into ponds, lakes, marshes, and mud holes, to be exhumed later on and sold at exorbitant prices to unsuspecting curio hunters" (BV, 96).
(12.) "An Africanist school harnessed to the vapors of magico-religious, cosmological, and mythical symbolism" (BV, 95). On this passage see Kwame Appiah, In My Father's House? Africa in the Philosophy of Culture (New York: Oxford University Press, 1992)60-61.
(13.) See, for example, Kofi Anynefa, "Scandales: Litterature francophone et identite," Cahiers a" Etudes Africaines 191 (2008): 460-63. See also Appiah, In My Father's House, 150-33; Miller, Blank Darkness, 216-45. See Marilyn Randall, "The Context of Decolonization and the Poetics of Plagiarism," Comparative Literature East and West: Traditions and Trends (Honolulu: College of Languages, Linguistics and Literature, University of Hawaii, 1989) 196-99; "Appropriate (d) Discourse: Plagiarism and Decolonization," New Literary History 22.3 (Summer 1991): 536-39; and Pragmatic Plagiarism, 238-41. See also Eric Sellin, "The Unknown Voice of Yambo Ouologuem," Christopher Wise, ed. Yambo Ouologuem; Postcolonial Writer, Islamic Militant (Boulder, CO; Lynne Rienner, 1999) 67-87 (First published Yale French Studies 53 ; 137-62); Antoine Marie Zacharie Hambumukiza, Le Devoir de violence de Yambo Ouologuem (Saarbrucken; Editions Universitaires Europeennes, 2010).
(14.) The Tarikh al-fattash fi akhbar al-buldan iva-al-juyush wa-akabir al-nas ("Chronicle of the Searcher to aid as the history of the towns, armies and the leaders of Takrur"--Takrur was an ancient empire on the middle and lower Senegal River which collapsed in the thirteenth century) attributed to Mahmoud Kati ibn al Hadj al-Motawakkil Kati Timbukti (c. 1468-?), ed. and trans. Octave Victor Houdas and Maurice Delafosse, 2 vols., Documents arabes relatifs a l'histoire du Soudan, Publications de l'Ecole des langues orientales vivantes, 5th Series, 9-10 (Paris; Ernest Leroux, 1913) and the Tarikh es-Soudan ("Chronicle of the Sudan") of 'Abd al-Rahman ibn' Abd Allah Sa' di (1596-1656), ed. and trans. Octave Victor Houdas and Edmond Benoist, 2 vols., Documents arabes relatifs a l'histoire du Soudan, Publications de l'Ecole des langues orientales vivantes, 4th series, 12-14 (Paris: Ernest Leroux, 1898-1900) are mentioned in the opening section of the novel ("Taril el Fatach et le Tarik el Sudan" (DV, 19; new ed., 26; BV, 4) (both texts were reprinted under the sponsorship of UNESCO, Paris; Adrien-Maisonneuve, 1964). The Tarikh al-fattash in its current form appears to be the work of Ibn al-Mukhtar (fl. 1664) a grandson of Timbukti. Ouologuem's form of the titles suggests he is referring to the French rather than the Arabic version. An English translation of Timbukti's Cgronicle is: Ta' rikh al fattash = The Timbuktu chronicles, 1493-1599; English Translation of the Original Works in Arabic by Al Hajj Mahmud Kati. trans. Christopher Wise and Hala Anu Taleb (Trenton, NJ: Africa World Press, 2011).
(15.) His major defense was his Lettre a la France negre, Collection Motifs 178, (Paris; Le Serpent a Plumes, 2003; first published; Paris; Editions Nalis, 1969), a polemic hardly designed to appease anyone including his most ardent supporters (for details, see Caroline Mohsen, "Yambo Ouologuem, Satirist and Pamphleteer; Irony and Revolt in Lettre a la France negre," in Wise, Yambo Ouologuem 121-37), especially the section "Lettre aux pisse-copie negres d' ecrivains celebres" (181-92) which suggests that best-selling novels can be cobbled together from plagiarized passages (see Randall, Pragmatic Plagiarism 238-39 for a caution against the argument of Eric Sellin, "The Unknown Voice of Yambo Ouologuem" in Wise, Yambo Ouologuem 67-87 at 82-83 that in DV, Ouologuem was following his own advice--Sellin's article was first published in Yale French Studies 53  137-62). Most commentators avoid attempting to translate the title of this section. Randall, "Context 199," "Discourse" 537 suggested; "[A letter] to hack nigger-writers of famous authors," but in Pragmatic Plagiarism 297 declares "[t]his title defies my abilities of translation" but does note that in addition to its reference to "race," "negre" may also be translated "ghost-writer."
(16.) Among his earliest defenders was Nwoga who confessed to not having read DV but who nevertheless insisted: "My consideration is that borrowing is not the issue. Originality, in African tradition, has not much to do with where the artist derived his material. The essence of originality is the use to which the artist put his material, both borrowed and invented". See Donatus Nwoga, "Plagiarism and Authentic Creativity in West Africa" Critical Perspectives on Nigerian Literatures, Ed. Bernth Lindfors (Washington, D. C.: Three Continents Press, 1976) 159-67 at 166. In reference to the supposed borrowing from Guy de Maupassant's Boule de suif (Miller, Blank Darkness 235-36; Hambumukiza 81-82), Appiah expostulates: "if this latter is a theft, it is the adventurous theft of a kleptomaniac, who dares us to catch him at it" (In My Father's House 151, "Yambo Ouologuem and the Meaning of Postcoloniality," in Wise, Yambo Ouologuem 55-63 at 57). Hambumukiza (107-20) also attempts to show extensive borrowing from another Maupassant story, "Le Port" about a man who visits a brothel to discover in the morning the prostitute with whom he has slept is his sister. For Jean-Louis Joubert, Les voleurs de langue; Traversee de la francophonie litteraire (Paris: Editions Philippe Rey, 2006), the mere act of writing in French constitutes a form of plagiarism (69-70).
(17.) For his subsequent career see Part 4: "Yambo Ouologuem Today" in Wise, Yambo Ouologuem, 198-241.
(18.) On the gutter page of the English translation (first published in 1971) is the following note: "The Publishers acknowledge the use of certain passages on pages 54-56 from It's a Battlefield by Graham Greene. "The "publishers" in this case are Heinemann themselves who published both BV and It's a Battlefield (London: Heinemann, 1934). This statement is a little odd as the research of Hambumukiza demonstrates (103-06) that Ouologuem drew upon the French version, C' est un champ de bataille, trans. Marcelle Sibon (Paris: Robert Laffont, 1957), not the English original. Miller, Blank Darkness 220-21 made his comparisons using the English text.
(19.) Perhaps the most extreme form of this is the popular "mash-up" in which the work of an author long out of copyright is interspersed with narrative themes from contemporary popular culture such as Jane Austen and Seth Grahame-Smith, Pride and Prejudice and Zombies (Philadelphia: Quirk Books. 2009) and Jane Austen and Ben. H. Winters, Sense and Sensibility and Sea Monster (Philadelphia: Quirk Books, 2009).
(20.) Seul le diable le savait (Paris: Pre aux Clercs, 1990; republished as: La Negresse rousse, Paris: J' ai Lu, 1997) is not available in English. C' est le soleil qui m' a br? lee (Paris: Stock, 1987), Tu t' appelleras Tanga (Paris Stock, 1988) and Le petit prince de Belleville (Paris: Albin Michel, 1992) have appeared as The Sun has Looked Upon Me (Oxford: Heinemann, 1996), Your Name Shall be Tanga (Oxford: Heinemann, 1996), Loukoum; The ' Little Prince' of Belleville (Oxford: Heinemann, 1995) respectively, all three translated by Marjolijn de Jager and appearing Heinemann's African Writers Series before Heinemann was bought out by a multi-national conglomerate. The series became moribund and was finally closed down in 2003. See James Currey, Africa Writes Back; The African Writers Series and the Launch of African Literature (Oxford: James Currey, 2008), 300.
(21.) Les lions indomptables; cinquante ans de bonheur (Paris: Albin Michel, 2010); L'homme qui m' offerait le ciel (Paris: Albin Michel, 2007). She has also produced two sharply worded missives regarding racial and gender politics in France, using a forceful style reminiscent of Ouologuem's Lettre a la France negre, the first Lettre d' une africaine a ses sceurs occidentales (Paris: Spengler, 1995) and the second Lettre d ' une Afro-francaise a ses compatriotes (Paris: Editions Mango, 2000).
(22.) For a celebratory account of the series by the series' editor 1967-1984, see Currey, Africa Writes Back. Michael Okyerefo, The Cultural Crisis of Sub-Saharan Africa as Depicted in the African Writers' Series? A Sociological Approach, European University Studies 22: Sociology 348 (Frankfurt am Main: Peter Lang, 2001) presents a positive analysis of the contribution the series to African literature (179) while a more critical evaluation of the series and its marketing procedures is provided by Camille Lizarribar Buxo, "Something Else Will Stand Beside It: The African Writers Series and the Development of African Literature," Unpublished Dissertation, Harvard University, 1998, and Graham Huggan, Postcolonial Exotic, 50-57.
(23.) Le Petit prince de Belleville (1992), whose English translation appeared before the plagiarism scandal broke, is set in Belleville, a Parisian suburb whose inhabitants are predominantly African immigrants. For whatever reason the sequel, Maman a un amant (Paris: Albin Michel, 1993), has yet to appear in English along with her eleven other subsequent novels. A similar fate has befallen Marietou Mbaye Bileoma who writes under the pseudonym "Ken Bugul" (See Wangar wa Nyatetu-Waigwa, "Bugul, Ken," in Simon Gikandi, ed., Encyclopedia of African Literature [London: Routledge, 2003] 83-84). Her autobiographical first novel, Le baobab fou (Dakar: Les Nouvelles Editions Africaines, 1982) which appeared as The Abandoned Baobab; The Autobiography of a Senegalese Woman. trans. Marjolijn de Jager (New York: Lawrence Hill Books, 1991; new ed., Afterword Jeanne Garane, Charlottesville; University of Virginia Press, 2008), tells of the tribulations of a young African woman who immigrates to Belgium. Neither the two volumes which continue the narrative nor any other of Bugul's five subsequent novels, all published 1994-2008, have appeared in English although finally with the publication of Ada Uzoamaka Azodo and Jeanne-Sarah de Larquier, eds., Emerging Perspectives on Ken Bugul; From Alternative Choices to Oppositional Practices (Trenton, NJ; Africa World Press, 2009), there is now available a volume of essays on her work. Her marriage in 1980 to a man who already had 27 wives did not help her cause especially with Anglophone feminists. She now lives in Porto-Novo, Benin.
(24.) Scholarly interest in English with a few notable exceptions has been largely concerned with the early novels. Kenneth W. Harrow, Less than One and Double; A Feminist Reading of African Women's Fiction (Portsmouth, NH; Heinemann, 2002), devotes a chapter each to Tu t' appelleras Tanga and Le petit prince de Belleville (43-155). See also the discussions in Richard Bjornson, An African Quest for Freedom and Identity; Cameroonian Writing and the National Experience (Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1991)416-20; Odile Cazenave, Rebellious Women; The New Generation of African Female Novelists (Boulder, CO: Lynne Rienner, 2000) 152-61, 173 90, 202-12, 230-36; Irene Assiba D'Almeida, Francophone African Women's Writing; Destroying the Emptiness of Silence (Gainesville; University Press of Florida, 1994) 72-87; Chantal Kalisa, Violence in francophone African and Caribbean Women's Literature (Lincoln; University of Nebraska Press, 2009) 77-96, 107-113, 130-50; Juliana Makuchi Nfah-Abbenyi, Gender in African Women's Writing; Identity, Sexuality and Difference (Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1997) 84-96. The leading Anglophone Beyala scholar is Nicki Hitchcott, see her Calixthe Beyala and Women Writers 129-51. Major contributions in French are by Rangira Beatric Gallimore, L' euvre romanesque de Calixthe Beyala; le renouveau de l'ecriture feminine en Afrique francophone subsaharienne (Paris; L'Harmattan, 1997), who discusses the first plagiarism affair in an appendix 205-10, and Drocella Mwisha Rwanika, Sexualite volcanique (Paris: L'Harmattan, 2006)109 24. 153-47, 195-207.
(25.) First published in English in 1981 under the title Burt (New York; Hoit, Rinehart and Winston, 1981) and re-released as When I was Five I Killed Myself (New York: Overlook, 2000). While it has made few waves in the Anglophone world, the book in its French translation, Quand j' avais 5 ans, je m' ai tue, trans. Jean-Pierre Carasso (Paris; Editions du Seuil, 1981), has been a major best seller and inspiration for film and television shows.
(26.) As is the case with Ouologuem, Beyala's plagiarism problems have been extensively documented and commented upon. See Mongo Beti, "L'Affaire Calixthe Beyala"; Suzanne Gauch, "Sampling Globalization in Calixthe Beyala's Le petit prince de Belleville," Research in African Literatures 41 (2010); 203-21; Harrow, Less than One and Double 103-21; Nicki Hitchcott, "Calixthe Beyala; Prizes, Plagiarism, and 'Authenticity'," Research in African Literatures 37 (1996): 100-09; Hitchcott, Calixthe Beyala 15-23, 31-33, 128-29, 134-36; Randal, Pragmatic Plagiarism 183-88; Veronique Porra, "'Moi, Calixthe Beyala, la plagiaire!' ou ambiguites d' une ' Defense et illustrations' du plagiat," Palabres 1.3-4 (1997): 25-39.
(27.) Les honneurs purdus (Paris: Albin Michel, 1996). Previously she had won the Grand Prix Litteraire de l'Afrique Noire for Maman a un amant (1993), the Prix Tropique and the Prix Francois Mauriac de l'Academie francaise for Assbze l'Africaine (Paris: Albin Michel, 1994). She was to win the Grand Prix de l'Unicef for La petite fille du reverbere (Paris: Albin Michel, 1998).
(28.) Ben Okri, The Famished Road (New York: Doubleday, 1992), translated by Aline Weill as La route de lafaim (Paris; Laffont, 1994).
(29.) Hitchcott, "Prizes" 108, note 1, draws attention to the use of the "'petit-negre' 'pidgin' word, 'Missie' 'Mister'" which puts Assouline in the position of a colonial subject and therefore not authorized to speak for the French metropolitan center. This has a wicked bite to it as Assouline was born in Casablanca, Morocco, in 1953 while it was still a French colony and is therefore also an African.
(30.) "I retraced my steps to give food for thought to those Mister Nothing Makeshimreads, those jealous critics, and to allow them to carry on their sterile careers which, as Alexander Dumas said, bring nothing to the literary world apart from the crowns of thorns they' ve woven to push deep on the head of the conquering or conquered poet, laughing as they go" Hitchcott, "Prizes" 101; see also Hitchcott, Calixthe Beyala 40 and footnote 6, p. 158).
(31.) Ihimaera was not the only Polynesian writer to be published by an international company. Albert Wendt (Samoa) and Patricia Grace (Maori) had their first volumes published in the 1970s by Longman Paul, the New Zealand branch of Heinemann's arch-rival Longman Group. Longman had two African series, first "Drumbeat" and then "Longman African Classics." Although both series published many important writers, they had neither the scope nor prestige of the African Writers series.
(32.) Witi Ihimaera, Nights in the Gardens of Spain (Birkenhead, Auckland; Secker and Warburg, 1995).
(33.) This list of acknowledgments is omitted from the revised version of The Matriarch (2009), but is included in an expanded form in the sequel, The Dream Swimmer (Albany, Auckland: Penguin Books, 1997)7-8.
(34.) To complicate matters Ihimaera introduces the quotation with; "A journalist at the sitting later wrote of the protest; but there is no indication of the newspaper in which the excerpt appears and Ihimaera's text word for word the account found in Joseph Angus Mackay, Historic Poverty Bay and the East Cost, N[orth]. I[sland]., N[ew]. Z[ealand] (Gisborne: J. G. Mackay, 1949), 307. At this point the 2009 revision (233-34) follows the 1986 text without either modification or acknowledgment
(35.) Keith Sorrenson, "Effects of the Wars on the Maori People," An Encyclopaedia of New Zealand, ed. A. H. McLintock, 3 vols. (Wellington; Government Printer, 1966)2; 483-87. Some on-line contributors to the latest controversy insist that the article in question is the one on "Maori Land Tenure," An Encyclopaedia of New Zealand, 2; 434-36, but that section is signed "I. H. K."; i. e., Ian Hugh Kawharu.
(36.) Even a casual examination of The Matriarch (1986) 239 reveals that phrases and whole sentences have been lifted from Sorenson 483, col. 1 and 484, col. 2. This section is reprinted without change or commentary in The Matriarch (2009) 229-30.
(37.) Gauch, "Sampling Globalization," uses the same image of "sampling" as her explanation of the way in which Beyala appears to have appropriated the writings of others.
(38.) Thus in The Trowenna Sea (512-13),the description of the exhumation of Hohepa Te Umuroa 's remains on Maria Island, Tasmania follows closely the account given in Sinclair, Maori Times, Maori Places 188-89, including details from Hoana Amanita's unpublished diary of the event which Ihimaera could not have had access to (see Sinclair 254, fn. 5). Hoana died in 1995 (Sinclair 178). Sinclair, on the other hand has the grace to refer to Ihimaera's The Matriarch and The Dream Swimmer (235, chap. 1, fn. 5).
(39.) He proudly lists some of these causes in his "Author's Note" to The Martriarch (2009):495-97 at 497.
(40.) For a survey of literary fakes in general, see K. K. Ruthven, Faking Literature (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2001) and for Australia in particular, the essays in Maggie Noian and Carrie Dawson, eds., Hoaxes, Imposture and Identity Crises in Australian Literature (St Lucia: University of Queensland Press, 2004; = Australian Literary Studies 21.4). "The Darkening Ecliptic," a suite of sixteen poems by the supposedly deceased "Ern Malley" was published in the Autumn 1944 edition of Angry Penguins to great acclaim. The poems turned out to be pastiches (including part of a tract on mosquito eradication) put together by James McCauley and Harold Stewartas an attack on modernist tendencies in literature. The Serbian immigrant Street Boii wrote a series of novels under the aboriginal pseudonym, "B. Wongar." "Helen Demidenko" turned out to be Helen Danville, of English, not Ukrainian descent and whose family had nothing to do with the Holocaust as claimed in The Hand that Signed the Paper (St. Leonards, NSW: Alien and Unwin, 1994), which had won the Vogel Literary Award in 1993 for a work by an author under 35, the Miles Franklin award in 1995, and the Association for the Study of Australian Literature Gold Medal in the same year.
(41.) See Adam Shoemaker, "Mudrooroo and the Curse of Authenticity" in Mongrel Signatures: Reflections on the Work of Mudrooroo, ed. Annalisa Oboe, Cross/Cultures 64 (Amsterdam: Rodopi, 2003) 1-23 as well as other essays in the same volume.
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|Author:||Hughes, Shaun F.D.|
|Publication:||Forum for World Literature Studies|
|Date:||Dec 1, 2011|
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