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Novelist admits to plagiarism in ‘The Last Fan Club of Sammi Superstars’

Novelist admits to plagiarism in ‘The Last Fan Club of Sammi Superstars’

Posted September. 07, 2015 07:24,   


Novelist Park Min-gyu (47), who had been suspected of plagiarism after best-seller novelist Shin Kyung-sook, accepted suspicion over his plagiarism.

The September issue of the "Monthly JoongAng" that was released recently carries an open letter Park sent to literary critics Jeong Moon-soon and Choi Kang-min who raised suspicion of plagiarism against "The Last Fan Club of the Sammi Superstars (2003)," and "Nap (2007)," with which Park made her debut as novelist. Earlier, in the magazine`s August issue, the two critics raised suspicion that "The Last Fan Club…" is similar to "The Korean Baseball History Seen Reversely," an online post, and "Nap" is close to "Silver Forest," Japanese comics.

“In the opening section of ‘The Last Fan Club of the Sammi Superstars,’ I needed brief newspaper stories and news reports on accidents and legal cases, and ‘The Korean Baseball History Seen Reversely’ was one of the references that I found at that time," Park said in his memo of excuse. “I think it was obviously stealing and is an act that deserves criticism. I was a person who lacked understanding about intellectual property right at the time.” He admitted he committed plagiarism. Then, He tried to excuse himself, saying, “However, it was a case wherein I sought reference materials to back up my idea, rather than a case wherein I sought ideas from the materials.” "The Korean Baseball…" was a post that a fan of the Sammi Superstars baseball team uploaded on an online community bulletin in the 1990s.

“I remember reading the Japanese comics ‘Silver Forest’ long time ago,” he also mentioned on the novel "Nap." “Even though it was a plot of common romance, there clearly seems to be elements of similarity when seen objectively.”

Earlier, in the August issue of the "Monthly JoongAng," Jeong and Park raised suspicion of Park’s plagiarism, saying that sentences describing special characteristics of players’ names in "The Last Fan…." and "The Korean Baseball History…," and styles are similar. They pointed out that Park gave words of appreciation by mentioning the name of the fan who wrote "The Korean Baseball History…" in the closing section of his novel, but his novel has more than simply referring to the article written by the original author.

The two critics also claimed that the plot of romance in "Nap" is similar to that that in the Japanese comics "Silver Forest." Both "Nap" and "Silver Forest" have the plot that the main character meets his first love who is suffering from "dementia" when he enters a nursing home after losing his wife.

When suspicion of plagiarism was first raised, Park denied the suspicion in an interview with the monthly magazine, saying that even if people write completely creative work all alone in the cave, coincidental incidents could happen.

Commenting on suspicions over plagiarism in the Korean writers community in an interview with the recently released September-October issue of Axt, a novel review magazine, Park said, “I am under suspicion of plagiarism as well,” adding, ”This problem would be solved when at least minimum guidelines are put in place.” Axt said the interview was conducted around the time suspicion over his plagiarism was first raised.