showing that Dc Man’s work is full of mistranslations, notrnonly from German, but also from French, despite the factrnthat—or, Baudelaire might have said, because—he was Belgian.rnWhen, faced with this and similar scholarly malfeasance,rnthe dean of Yale College said that he had given up on thernhumanities and would hire only “scientists,” his faculty drovernhim into eady retirement.rnYale should not bear the full brunt of the changes in academicrnattitudes. Earlier this year the Chronicle of Higher Educationrndevoted its back page to a plea that we rethink our definitionrnof plagiarism in light of the pirating by Martin LutherrnKing, )r. King’s plagiarized dissertation is a two-edged swordrnin this debate. On the one hand, the existence of this plagiarismrnis evidence of a widespread and deep corruption in ourrnacademic and journalistic establishments. Yet it was uncoveredrnby scholars emploving the traditional standards and methodsrnof textual editing and source criticism. There is evidence thatrnthe editors of King’s papers tried to delay publication of the discovery.rnThere was, however, no wav to disguise the facts of therncase, given the traditions and conventions of textual criticismrnand source criticism, i.e., real scholarship.rnOne way to test a method is to present it with unwelcome results.rnReal science, physical and humane, must come to termsrnwith such evidence. Galileo did not like the idea that the planetsrnmight not move in perfect circles, as Einstein did not carernfor Heisenberg’s “Uncertainty Principle.” Eventually, however,rnphysicists did accept what the evidence told them. Documentaryrnstudy of the writings of M.L. King and Paul de Man revealedrnunpalatable facts about these men. A Yale colleague andrnfellow literary theorist of De Man’s wrote for the New Repubhcrnan essay showing fiow easily literary theory could absorb andrntwist and deny the worst revelations. For both De Man andrnKing, however, scholarly stud}’ of the documents, a study thatrngoes back to the ancient world for its methods and standards,rnstood firm. The humane sciences arc virtually as old as thernphysical sciences and their methods are as time-tested and givernresults as valid. The future of American academia is deeply involvedrnin understanding these important facts and building onrnthem. It is literary theory and other offshoots of Nietzsche’srnbrilliant dissections of Western religion and science that are thernBarthean mythologies used b}’ our ruling white elite to preservernits authority in the waning afternoon of its long, but loosening,rngrip on power. Among the forces that will destroy this evil eliternarc the discoveries of Western sciences, both physical and humane.rnThere are crises of plagiarism outside of America. Lastrnspring, a professor of the philosophy of law at Naples submittedrnan article to a learned journal. By ill luck the relativelyrnunknown German from whom he had translated his essay hadrnjust had it and several others translated into Italian, and the editorrnof the journal recognized the fact. Not only did the editorrnreject the article, but he got together with some learned colleaguesrnand started to go over the professor’s books. Surernenough, they had been translated, down to footnotes andrnpunctuation, from German books and articles. The professorrncaught red-handed, now in his 70’s, had enjoyed a distinguishedrncareer, honored with not only a professorship, but thernpresidency of his learned society and the rectorship of a learnedrnfoundation. It is a severe critique of his field that so fewcaughtrnon so late, or that those who knew or suspected werernsilent. It is also worth noting, however, that the methods andrnstandards do exist for catching and revealing such activities.rnProfessor Villani has been expelled from the learned societyrnhe once headed, but many plagiarists are much luckier. A bookrnis published with paragraph after paragraph copied from anotherrnwork. A note is sent to book review editors asking themrnto notify potential reviewers that suitable references were accidentallyrnomitted. A similar note was found in a learnedrnjournal after it had published an article containing an idearnalso found in an unpublished dissertation written at the writer’srnuniversity, a dissertation whose author was not as compliantrnas the source for M.L. King’s work. Certainly all flesh is heirrnto forgetfulness and each case must be judged on its individualrnmerits. Even in cases where such an excuse is not relevant,rnhowever, and sentence after sentence is copied from anotherrnsource, the offense is treated as venial and constitutes no bar tornprofessional advancement.rnIn most cases, as in those of De Man and King, the relevantrnuniversities draw the wagons in a circle and refuse to discuss thernembarrassment, or, more brazenly, blame the messengers whornproclaim the facts. One must then feel some admiration forrnPrinceton University Press for allowing Professor AnthonyrnGrafton of Princeton’s history department to tell the generalrnpublic that the late Professor Paul Coleman-Norton of classicsrnpublished in the Catholic Biblical Quarterly a forged Greek textrnof a lost saying of Jesus, with extensive scholarly commentary.rnAdmittedly, the fragment does small credit to the sagacity ofrnthe pious editors of the Quarterly. It concerns a disciple whornwants to know how there will be “gnashing of teeth” for sinnersrnwho have lost theirs. “Oh ye of little faith,” answers Jesus,rn”teeth will be provided.” According to Grafton, Coleman-rnNorton’s students had heard him make the same joke in class.rnThe tradition of classical forgery has distinguished antecedents.rnGrafton mentions that Erasmus added a work of his own compositionrnon martyrdom to his 1530 edition of the works of SaintrnCyprian.rnWhat might surprise some is the continuing influence ofrnthose who indulge in such antics, llniversities all over Americarngive their staff a day off in honor of King. About a book arnyear pours forth from learned presses in praise of Erasmus. AsrnI have indicated above, known plagiarism is no bar to academicrnadvancement. As with the physical sciences, it is more oftenrnthe whistleblowcr who suffers.rn”Is there anv comfort to be found?” asked William ButlerrnYeats. Despite what the apes of Nietzsche tell us, there are validrntraditional standards in the humanities, as in the other sciences.rnLearning those standards remains a challenge. Standing up forrnthose standards will earn little thanks from the corrupt elitesrnthat run our universities and our governments. Woe unto us,rnhowe’er, if we do not stand up for them. Many have led fruitfulrnand creative lives without holidays in their honor or publicrnrecognition. Some have been given hemlock to drink, or itsrnequivalent, for revealing the fraudulence of their society. Tornstand in that company, though at a distance, to hear thosernvoices and learn those standards, and then to repeat them tornthose who can understand them, that is the life worth living, nornmatter what the cost. “I say unto you, they have their reward,”rnJesus did say about people like Erasmus and King. Thernreward of those who stand up for excellence and truth is not onlyrnlaid up in heaven, however. It is tasted here on earth, everyrnday, in the lives they lead and the truth (and truths) theyrncome to know.rn20/CHRONICLESrnrnrn