May 24th, 2007

Erik Campbell on Plagiarism

Here is a thoroughly entertaining and readable essay (in the full sense of the word) on plagiarism, by Erik Campbell. A fun, fun read.

A quibble: Campbell claims that the Bible, from Creation to the Last Judgment, contains no humor. Surely he jests! (ahem) I grant that the New Testament is a little short on comic scenes or phrases, but the Old Testament is rife with humor; you just have to know how to read for it, to get it. Some examples, off the top of my head: The story of Ehud ben-Gera and Eglon King of Moab is full of puns and comic contrasts between Ehud (and his short sword) and obese Eglon; Balak's ill-fated commissioning of the curse from Balaam (Moabites again! hmm...); Moses's duel of wizards with Pharaoh's magicians; Abimelekh's death under the wall; Achish King of Gath's famous cry "Have I need of mad men?"; and so on and so forth.