Danish TV reporter says his dog peed on manuscript so he had to substitute someone else's . . .
Amidst continuing accusations of plagiarism, a biography of Henry Kissinger by Danish TV journalist Frank Esmann has been pulled off bookstore shelves for a second time in Denmark. As an Agence France Presse wire story reports, the publisher of Kissinger, Aschehoug first retracted the book in mid-October just days after its release when Esmann was “accused of having copied at least 20 passages of the biography from a book written by American Walter Isaacson.” Then it was put back on sale after the publisher put “extensive new end notes to the biography on its website in an attempt to better document Esmann’s use of Isaacson as a source.” The publisher capitulated when criticism continued, and is now “planning to launch a probe into the extent of the plagiarism to determine if Esmann should be made to repay money he received to write the book.” Esman, meanwhile, says he is the victim of “genre confusion.” He explains, “‘Kissinger’ is informative literature. That is the way I wrote it. Now it is being judged as if it were (scientific research) and not a journalistic work. I find that unfair and unreasonable.”
Dennis Johnson is the founder of MobyLives, and the co-founder and co-publisher of Melville House.