Anonymous asks in comments how Robert Clark Young is being disingenuous in his statements on Brad Vice's alleged plagiarism on this web page. Anonymous follows up by pointing out Young's article in the the current NY Press.
To the question of Young's disingenuousness, let me point out that Young compares Vice's use of some of Carmer's words to the institution of slavery and says:
The law states that the cut-off date is 1923. Writers are free to steal the phraseology--even entire texts--of any work published before that date. This is a federal law. True, white Southerners have a long history of ignoring and violating federal law, making up excuses for why it should be "nullified," ranging from the South Carolina Nullification Act to secession to Jim Crow laws to Wallace standing in the schoolhouse door to the illegal placement of the Ten Commandments on state property to Jake Adam York's justification for stealing KKK stories from the dead.You want to know why I call this guy a nutcase? Please read and re-read the above, which explicitly compares white Southern writers, a list that presumably includes Faulkner, O'Connor, Harry Crews, Larry Brown, Eudora Welty, Madison Smartt Bell, Bob Shacochis, as well as the Barry Hannah he wrongly hatchets in his NY Press article, to pathological racists from the past. The condescension he exhibits in this argument states almost everything I need to know about the guy: he's an unredeemable prick.
What we need is a literary William Tecumseh Sherman to ride down there with a few thousand good men and make sure you boys play clean. No wonder those folks in Georgia were so quick to rescind Vice's Flannery O'Connor award--they were quick to attempt to squelch this embarrassment before the story hit the Northern press and Yankees felt the righteous need to "come on down heah and interfere"--the traditional fear of white Southerners.
It's too late of course. This story will not limit itself to the Alabama, Mississippi, and Georgia papers that have run it. The Chronicle of Higher Education, a Yankee paper, has run the story, and other Yankee papers will follow. I ought to know. I write for Yankee papers and have already contacted The Editors. Vice's volley against the Fort Sumter of Literary Ethics must not go unanswered.
Then, in his NY Press article, he reiterates the current charges against Vice (calling for his hanging? what?), claims to have found further evidence of plagiarism, and then bitches about the chumminess of writers associated with the Sewanee Writers' Conference.
Leaving aside the first issue because I've already stated my opinion on it, Young's alleged new evidence of plagiarism is pure bull. Young states that Vice could have rewritten those phrases in his own words, and, well, they are. What's more, this grand evidence is bland to the point that it could appear verbatim in almost any number of books about blowflies.
Finally, regarding the chumminess of the participants at the Sewanee Writers' Conference: well, I'm shocked, shocked, to learn that writers, especially literary writers, most of whom will have to have other jobs since their fiction will not ever pay the bills, may occasionally play the you-scratch-my-back, I-scratch-yours game. That's quite the scoop there. No doubt Mr. Young is above all of this because of his superior Yankee upbringing.
Update with links.
Fred of American Views Abroad offers a more succinct (but more clever) analysis of Mr. Young's article.
Jason Sanford at StorySouth weighs in with a more thorough analysis, including a rather convincing rebuke of Mr. Young's flimsy "new evidence" of plagiarism.
Michelle Richmond's shows the allegations of mutal back-scratching at Sewanee to be as fictive and twisted as the rest of Mr. Young's article.
After reading these other, better-conceived posts, it's obvious to me that Mr. Young is pursuing a personal vendetta against Brad Vice for unclear reasons. And here I thought Armond White was the worst writer at the NY Press!