From today's NYTimes Book Review, on plagiariasm:
"At the same time that he is letting judges off the hook, Mr. Posner acknowledges that in academic circles there is a double standard for plagiarism, with professors often getting off far more lightly than their students. The reason, he says, is that the left, which dominates the professoriate these days, is soft on plagiarism because the left is uncomfortable with ideas of individual creativity and ownership. (Surprisingly, he fails to take a whack at French theorists like Barthes and Foucault, who argued that in the strictest sense there is no such thing as an “author,” because all writing is collaborative and produced by a kind of cultural collective.)"
Once again, the Times botches a summarization of "French theory" by conflating Barthes and Foucault, the latter of whom wrote about the "author function" and how the "author" -- in contrast to the flesh-and-blood writer -- was invented as discursive entity so as to organize and control the circulation of literary discourse. It's called literary theory 101.
As for the "left" being "uncomfortable with ideas of individual creativity and ownership," huh??? Does that mean that the "right," then, is a champion of "individual creativity"? Sigh.