An Unoriginal Act Of Plagiarism

Fiction writer David Cameron attempted to expose the unfairness of literary journals by submitting to them an already published New Yorker story under guise of a fake, unpublished writer. The journals all rejected the story. David Haglund yawns:

Many other writers have indulged in this silly exercise before. There was the guy who sent Jane Austen novels to several U.K. publishers five years ago, as if it made sense to write 19th-century-style fiction in 2007. (Even assuming that some of the publishers did not recognize, e.g., Pride and Prejudice—which I doubt—it would still read like pastiche, and not very interesting pastiche.) There was the other guy who sent part of a lesser Jerzy Kosinski novel around. That same guy (and they are all, for some reason, guys) submitted the script of Casablanca to a bunch of movie agents—as if the movie business had not changed a whit since 1942, and those agents who were foolish enough not to recognize the classic dialogue were proving some point about how the people at the top have no idea what they’re doing.