Friday, September 12, 2003

Hemingway Estate Sues Rollercoaster Magazine

The estate of writer Ernest Hemingway announced this morning that it would be filing a lawsuit against the editorial and writing staff of Rollercoaster Magazine. According to a statement from the estate, "this enthusiast publication has knowingly and willingly plagiarized the style of the late Ernest Hemingway for its own aims and profits. We will be seeking massive monetary compensation for this thievery in a court of law."

While the Hemingway estate makes no claim that the content and ideas expressed by Hemingway were in any way used by Rollercoaster Magazine without permission, they claim that the "style of writing used in the magazine goes past the point of aping Hemingway into out and out copying."

ARN&R has obtained samples from representative portions of the texts in question, and, while victory in this matter is no certainty for the Hemingway estate, they do make a strong point. Here is a representative passage from Hemingway's classic 1926 novel, The Sun Also Rises:

That was all right. Bill and Mike were with Edna. She had been afraid last night they would pass out. That was why I was to be sure to take her. I drank the coffee and hurried with the other people toward the bull-ring. I was not groggy now. There was only a bad headache.

And here is a sample from the Winter 1968 issue of Rollercoaster Magazine, or whatever just came out [Editor's Note: It was Spring 2003, merely half a year behind, as opposed to 35 years.].

Mack is a leader in the amusement industry. Their rides are at many parks. It will be neat to see what they make next. Goliath was good. But it wasn't perfect. It was not on many top ten lists. But it was green. Bus drivers were good. The hotel was bad. People took pretty pictures. We were given more ride time than expected. We like coasters. Collosos is no good since it is perfect. Parks should give us better buffets. With All-You-Can-Eat cow tongue. I forgot to bathe.

Neither excerpt has any subject matter in common, but both of them feature childishly stupid prose and an inability to form complicated word phrases or clauses, instead relying solely on clipped, single thoughts that lead to mind-rending irritation on the part of many readers with more than a fourth-grade education. ARN&R will be watching this plagiarism case closely and will keep our readership alerted as to any developments.