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A Bygone Plagiarism Scandal

Rabindranath Tagore

The January issue of Harper's contains an article on the late Pablo Neruda, by Emily Witt.

My own highly selective take away from the article is its reference to a plagiarism scandal I had never heard of. Apparently, "Poem 16" of Neruda's work, "Twenty Love Poems and a Song of Despair" are "lifted almost verbatim from the Indian poet Rabindranath Tagore," Witt says. There was apparently quite a fuss over this back in the 1930s.

Twenty Love Poems, published in 1924, is the work that made Neruda famous. So I gather the plagiarism too a few years coming to light.

I've only vaguely heard of Tagore. But I've given you his image above, thanks to the wonders of googling.

I think I should look into this matter some more.


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