Literary history

Ian McEwan rejects claims that he ‘copied’ bits of Atonement. I seem to remember that this is not a new story, but it’s an interesting comparison to Sebastian Faulks’ use of Alexander Barrie’s (published) The War Underground as source material for Birdsong – a use which seems to have been unacknowledged publicly until the most recent edition of the novel.

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One Response to Literary history

  1. McEwan has been in trouble for this before – his early novel “The Cement Garden” has the same plot as Julian Gloag’s “Our Mother’s House” (Parents die, children bury them in the cellar and live by themselves).
    Also an early story (I think it was called “Solid Geometry”) stole an idea from H.G.Wells and sexed it up a bit.
    I don’t know how censorious we should be about this, though – Shakespeare pinched all his plots from other people, after all.

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