Tagore and Literary Adaptation
Accidentally including three or four poems by another poet among his collection of short poems, Fireflies (Lekhan), what Tagore did was discussed in 2002, in a different context, by Richard Posner, in “On Plagiarism” in The Atlantic Monthly:
“…the writer who plagiarizes out of … forgetfulness, the latter being the standard defense when one is confronted with proof of one’s plagiarism.”
It was a mistake. Tagore immediately owned it. He was human, too, and graciously admitted he had erred, when it was pointed out to him, dealing with many manuscripts from years ago, jumbled together. Why should it be held against him by later sticklers?
Now available in
The Myth of the Enlightenment: Essays
Forthcoming, September, 2014.