Hughes apologizes for plagiarism in Miles Franklin novel
In an exclusive article, the Guardian Australia reports that he found several instances of plagiarism in John Hughes’ novel Dogs (Upswell), recently shortlisted for the 2022 Miles Franklin Literary Prize.
The Guardian said it found 58 “similarities and a few identical phrases” in a comparison of Dogs and the English translation of the non-fiction book by Belarusian writer Svetlana Alexievich The unfeminine face of War after the newspaper ‘to unveil[ed] some similarities between the books [and] applied document comparison software to the two texts”.
According to a statement from Hughes, the author was surprised to find so many similarities between his novel and the non-fiction work of Alexievitch, both of which deal with the theme of trauma during World War II. The unfeminine face of war is a collection of first-person oral histories of Soviet women who lived through World War II, collected by Alexievich and first published in 1985.
“After so many recordings and transcriptions of conversations with my Ukrainian grandparents and trying to fit them into the ‘ruins’ of previous versions, I came to believe that this oral material was theirs,” said Hughes.
“That doesn’t mean the words aren’t by Alexievitch, just that I don’t remember them as such. Over the years I had picked up so many pieces and woven them so tightly into what I hoped would be a cohesive whole that I couldn’t untangle them even if I wanted to. I don’t mean by that to excuse the appropriation, just to explain that Alexievitch’s first-hand accounts of Russian women in World War II are so much like the fragments of my grandmother as she gave them to me. told, the two became confused in my mind. .’
Hughes has since apologized to Alexievitch. “I have no intention of passing off Alexievich’s work as my own at any point in writing and I was truly surprised when I saw the material included in the article…Nevertheless, the fact remains, and I would like to apologize to Ms. Alexievich and her translators for using their words without recognition.
Upswell editor Terri-ann White said she “stands[s] steadfast alongside the author, despite the appropriations now evident in this text”.
“It is my responsibility to make amends and acknowledge these primary sources in the book that I have published,” White said.
Category: Local news