Sunday, March 09, 2008

Enough already: Isn't this acknowledgement thing sort of getting out of hand?

This weekend I picked up from the library's new fiction shelf "Best New American Voices 2008: Fresh Fiction from the Top Writing Programs," edited by Richard Bausch. I was browsing the bios at the back when I came across this statement of indebtedness by author and NYU MFA Garth Risk Hallberg in connection with his short story, "Early Humans."
"The author is indebted to Tad Friend, whose reportage for the New Yorker suggested several of this story's daffier turns of phrase."
This raised several questions in my mind: Is reportage like reporting, but with phrases just tuned to a more daffy frequency? Is it presumptuous for an author to declare he has truly achieved daffiness in his prose, or should it be left for others to judge? And finally, were lawyers involved in this acknowledgement?


George H. said...

I'm just catching up, and thus late with this comment: What is he thinking? That this acknowledgement absolves theft of someone else's prose, however daffy? I, too, see a lawyer in there somewhere.

zp said...

Even the voices in my head have reached consensus - that is too weird.