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blaize

It all counts. The people who can make a difference are the extra-ordinary people who take the time to write just like you do & the people who read.

squid

I hated Atonement! Now I am additionally justified!

Ronald  Irwin

Lucilla Andrews was not planning on making a big stink about this and neither is her agent or publisher. Andrews was amused more than anything else. And she actually did very well for some decades writing "Hospital Romances"--hers was not an unpaid or unheard "howl." Further, McEwan'd last novel, Saturday, sold 1 million copies and was optioned to the movies. I hardly would call such a popular writer "elitist", would you? McEwan has not been shy about his debt, either.

We are never more discontented with others than when we are discontented
with ourselves. -Henri Frederic Amiel, philosopher and writer (1821-1881)

minnie

Ronald Irwin: the voice of reason who speaks for all.

uh...

Ronald Irwin

Um, thanks for that, Uhhh.

Nice name? Usbek, perhaps? Or Mongolian?

minnie

my name? it's short for Minerva.

also, bite me.

blaize

It's interesting that he's side stepping the issue of copying someone else's work by saying that her work was cleverly written descriptions and not fiction.

The part I have a hard time with is his hair splitting. He should have acknowledged his use of her "descriptions" directly within the book then as her work not his own. It's not honest to say he used her work as research and then to lift passages of text and pass them off as his own.

http://books.guardian.co.uk/comment/story/0,,1957845,00.html

An inspiration, yes. Did I copy from another author?
No

(excerpt)

It was extraordinary, then, to find in the Wellcome Trust medical library, in Oxford, No Time for Romance, the autobiography of Lucilla Andrews, a well-known writer of hospital romances - my mother used to read her novels with great pleasure. Contained within this book was a factual account of the rigours of Nightingale training, the daily routines and crucially, of the arrival of wounded soldiers from the Dunkirk evacuation and their treatment. As far as I know, no other such factual account exists. Andrews even recounted an episode that paralleled my father's experience of being told off for swearing.

What Andrews described was not an imaginary world - it was not a fiction. It was the world of a shared reality, of those War Museum letters and of my father's prolonged hospital stay. Within the pages of a conventional life story, she created an important and unique historical document. With painstaking accuracy, so it seemed to me, she rendered in the form of superb reportage, an experience of the war that has been almost entirely neglected, and which I too wanted to bring to life through the eyes of my heroine. As with the Dunkirk section, I drew on the scenes she described. Again, it was important to me that these events actually occurred. For certain long-outdated medical practices, she was my sole source and I have always been grateful to her.

I have openly acknowledged my debt to her in the author's note at the end of Atonement, and ever since on public platforms, where questions about research are almost as frequent as "where do you get your ideas from?". I have spoken about her in numerous interviews and in a Radio 4 tribute. My one regret is not meeting her. But if people are now talking about Lucilla Andrews, I am glad. I have been talking about her for five years. (end excerpt)

And from another article;
http://www.cbc.ca/arts/books/story/2006/11/27/mcewan-atonement.html?ref=rss (excerpt)

"For certain long-outdated medical practices, she was my sole source and I have always been grateful to her," McEwan said.

He said he has publicly acknowledged Andrews' account on several occasions, including a BBC interview.

But he points out that her descriptions, however cleverly rendered, are fact, not fiction. In using them to guide his work, he was aiming for historical accuracy, not copying, McEwan said. (end excerpt)

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