Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Nobel Laureate accused of plagiarism

The Märkische Oder Zeitung (among others, it is a dpa story) reports that the Spanish Nobel Laureate for Literature Camilo Jose Cela (1916-2002) has been accused of plagiarism.

A judge in Barcelona has determined that there is enough evidence that the novel "La cruz de San Andrés" (The San Andrés Cross) for which he was awarded the Spanish literary prize "Planeta" in 1994, is similar to a novel by the relatively unknown author Maria del Carmen Formoso. The newspaper "El País" reports on April 21 that the judge's decision is based on an expertise prepared by a scholar of literature.

The court case is being brought against the publishing house Planeta, since Cela died in 2002. Formoso hat submitted her work to the prize committee two months in advance of Cela's submission. Formoso accused the publisher of giving her novel to Cela so that he could use it as a basis for his own work.

Formoso has been fighting for 10 years to get legal recognition of her case. She has twice lost cases in lower courts, but in 2006 the spanish constitutional court ordered a new trial. The court in Barcelona was requested to decide whether sufficient evidence is given to re-open the trial, which they now have done.

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