Wednesday, August 30, 2006
How Opal Mehta got cloned, got copied and didnt get a life!!!
Harvard undergraduate Kaavya Viswanathan faces an accusation that numerous passages in her first novel, ''How Opal Mehta Got Kissed, Got Wild and Got a Life" closely resemble a 2001 novel, ''Sloppy Firsts," by Megan F. McCafferty. Here are a few of the passages in dispute:
Bridget is my age and lives across the street. For the first twelve years of my life, these qualifications were all I needed in a best friend. But that was before Bridget's braces came off and her boyfriend, Burke, got on, and before Hope and I met in our seventh-grade honors class.
''Sloppy Firsts," page. 7
Priscilla was my age and lived two blocks away. For the first fifteen years of my life, those were the only qualifications I needed in a best friend. We had first bonded over our mutual fascination with the abacus in a playgroup for gifted kids. But that was before freshman year, when Priscilla's glasses came off, and the first in a long string of boyfriends got on.'Opal Mehta," page 14
The Bad Boy
The other thing about Marcus is that crackheaded girls who don't know any better think he's sexy. I don't see it. He's got dusty reddish dreads that a girl could never run her hands through. His eyes are always half-shut. His lips are usually curled into a semi-smile, like he's in on a big joke that's being played on you but you don't know it yet.
''Sloppy Firsts," page 23
Just about every girl, from the A list HBz to the stoner hoochies, thought he was sexy. The weird thing was, I didn't see it. He had too-long shaggy brown hair that fell into his eyes, which were always half-shut. His mouth was always curled into a half smile, like he knew about some big joke that was about to be played on you.
''Opal Mehta," page 48
Marcus then leaned across me to open the passenger-side door. He was invading my personal space, as I had learned in Psych class, and I instinctively sank back into the seat. That just made him move in closer. I was practically one with the leather at this point, and unless I hopped into the backseat, there was nowhere else for me to go.
''Sloppy Firsts," page 213
Sean stood up and stepped toward me, ostensibly to show me the book. He was definitely invading my personal space, as I had learned in a Human Evolution class last summer, and I instinctively backed up till my legs hit the chair I had been sitting in. That just made him move in closer, until the grommets in the leather embossed the backs of my knees, and he finally tilted the book toward me.
''Opal Mehta," page 175
Finally, four major department stores and 170 specialty shops later, we were done.
''Sloppy Firsts," page 237
Five department stores, and 170 specialty shops later, I was sick of listening to her hum along to Alicia Keyes, and worn out from resisting her efforts to buy me a pink tube top emblazoned with a glittery Playboy bunny.''Opal Mehta," page 51.
YET ANOTHER EXAMPLE’
From page 6 of McCafferty’s first novel: “Sabrina was the brainy Angel. Yet another example of how every girl had to be one or the other: Pretty or smart. Guess which one I got. You’ll see where it’s gotten me.”
From page 39 of Viswanathan’s novel: “Moneypenny was the brainy female character. Yet another example of how every girl had to be one or the other: smart or pretty. I had long resigned myself to category one, and as long as it got me to Harvard, I was happy. Except, it hadn’t gotten me to Harvard. Clearly, it was time to switch to category two.”
‘SOMETHING SO RANDOM’
From page 217 of McCafferty’s first novel: “But then he tapped me on the shoulder, and said something so random that I was afraid he was back on the junk.”
From page 142 of Viswanathan’s novel: “...he tapped me on the shoulder and said something so random I worried that he needed more expert counseling than I could provide.”
NO TENSION TO COMPLICATE’
From page 223 of McCafferty’s first novel: “Marcus finds me completely nonsexual. No tension to complicate our whatever relationship. I should be relieved.”
From pages 175 and 176 of Viswanathan’s novel: “Sean only wanted me as a friend. A nonsexual female friend. That was a good thing. There would be no tension to complicate our relationship and my soon-to-be relationship with Jeff Akel. I was relieved.”
‘SWEET AND WOODSY’
From page 46 of McCafferty’s first novel: “He smelled sweet and woodsy, like cedar shavings.”
From page 147 of Viswanathan’s novel: “...I had even begun to recognize his cologne (sweet and woodsy and spicy, like the sandalwood key chains sold as souvenirs in India.)”
SOME SIMILARITIES TO ‘SECOND HELPINGS’
‘TO BUY DIET COKES FROM’
From page 67 of McCafferty’s second novel: “...but in a truly sadomasochistic dieting gesture, they chose to buy their Diet Cokes at Cinnabon.”
From page 46 of Viswanathan’s novel: “In a truly masochistic gesture, they had decided to buy Diet Cokes from Mrs. Fields...”
‘PINK TUBE TOP EMBLAZONED WITH A GLITTERY PLAYBOY BUNNY’
From page 68 of McCafferty’s second novel: “‘Omigod!’ shrieked Sara, taking a pink tube top emblazoned with a glittery Playboy bunny out of her shopping bag.”
From page 51 of Viswanathan’s novel: “...I was sick of listening to her hum along to Alicia Keys, and worn out from resisting her efforts to buy me a pink tube top emblazoned with a glittery Playboy bunny.”
EXTRA POUNDS TURN UP IN BRA
From page 69 of McCafferty’s second novel: “Throughout this conversation, Manda acted like she couldn’t have been more bored. She lazily skimmed her new paperback copy of Reviving Ophelia—she must have read the old one down to shreds. She just stood there, popping another piece of Doublemint, or reapplying her lip gloss, or slapping her ever-present pack of Virginia Slims against her palm. (Insert oral fixation jokes, here, here and here.) Her hair—usually dishwater brown and wavy—had been straightened and bleached the color of sweet corn since the last time I saw her...Just when I thought she had maxed out on hooter hugeness, it seemed that whatever poundage Sara had lost over the summer had turned up in Manda’s bra.”
From page 48 of Viswanathan’s novel: “The other HBz acted like they couldn’t be more bored. They sat down at a table, lazily skimmed heavy copies of Italian Vogue, popped pieces of Orbit, and reapplied layers of lip gloss. Jennifer, who used to be a bit on the heavy side, had dramatically slimmed down, no doubt through some combination of starvation and cosmetic surgery. Her lost pounds hadn’t completely disappeared, though; whatever extra pounds she’d shed from her hips had ended up in her bra. Jennifer’s hair, which I remembered as dishwater brown and riotously curl, had been bleached Clairol 252: Never Seen in Nature Blonde. It was also so straight it looked washed, pressed and starched.”
From page 88 of McCafferty’s second novel: “By the way, Marcus wore a T-shirt that said THURSDAY yesterday, and FRIDAY today.”
From page 170 of Viswanathan’s novel: “He was wearing an old, faded gray sweatshirt that said ‘Tuesday’ on it. Except that today was Thursday.”
Coincidence or Copying?
Lets us all imagine the humiliation and mockery that Kaavya would face in Harvard.
This teaches all young wannabe authors not to copy others works for a quick buck.
You will definitely be caught. Let us further examine the audacity of Kaavya Viswanathan-
The Washington post has also discovered similarities between Viswanathan's book and Sophie Kinsella's "Can You Keep a Secret?" Also Tuesday, the Crimson reported it had found other sections where "Opal Mehta" echoed Rushdie's "Haroun and the Sea of Stories" and Meg Cabot's book "The Princess Diaries."How did she get into Harvard if she could not understand such blatant consequences of her actions??? (it ruined her life and any chances of her being an author.)
This shows us how important moral values and ethics are in ones life. One must not be carried away by instant success on fickle grounds. You are bound to fall and getting up isnt all that easy.