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February 11, 2005



Since you've dragged Nabs in, I'll note Bend Sinister ends with a typo twang: "A good night for mothing".


Since you've dragged Nabs in, I'll note Bend Sinister ends with a typo twang: "A good night for mothing".

peter ramus

John, I didn't mean to suggest that "scrawls" was the proper emendation of Elizabeth Bishop's text anymore than I think there's a better word than "mothing" for what Nabakov meant to write.

Black scrolls may fall well short of the trope needed for the expressive act of writing I was suggesting when I out the word "scrawls." Any number of better views may come of the black scrolls, for all I can tell, demonstrating that my reductive understanding of our moth's emergence from under the sidwalk, trip upwards towards the unmet moon, and return back under the sidewalk to the subway,— analog of the writer's journey to the written word and back— doesn't serve the poem completely, if at all. That's just why I wonder at the black scrolls.

Plagiarist.com has gone through a redesign since the last time I looked around in it. To get the linebreaks in Ms. Bishop's poem to fall where they should I had to crank my monitor's resolution way, way up. As for the text, I believe it's a hallmark of the craft of plagiarism that the plagiarist strives to achieve the exact phrasing, although standards being what they are on the internet, it's understandable that this may not always be the case. The consequences of false plagiarism do threaten the discourse, however.


Thanks, Peter. Sorry for jumping to the conclusion that you thought the line might need to be amended. I was just so eager to vault ahead to my volutes that I couldn't resist making a mountain out of some moth-goo.

My experience of plagiarists is that the hallmark of their craft is idiot sloppiness. But it may be that, by definition, I am only aware of those who practice imperfectly.


Nnyhav, "Good night for mothing" is just too good to be true. That's wonderful! Now I have to do another follow-up post. Thank you for that neologico-lepidopteristic gem.

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