Sunday, October 5, 2014

Whistle-Blowing for Godot

The Cabinet now lends two shelves to a traveling exhibitor.  Having been about to take down our sign and turn out the lights, we answered his knock reluctantly.    "Matthew C. Whitaker....plagiarism...." he said, pulling at his boot.  Enough, we thought: "Nothing to be done."  "I'm beginning to  come round to that opinion," the traveler said.  "All my life I've tried to put it from me, reasonable, you haven't yet tried everything.  And I resumed the struggle.  So there you are again."

And there he was.  Not content to wait. Nor content with the Cabinet's own displays.  The Cabinet has long displayed plagiarism under glass.  The exhibitor brought a tale of plagiarism in the wild.  He had roamed the landscape in which it grew.  He unfolded a diorama, and we watched a landscape subtly change, until true scholarship  was left gasping. Plagiarism, perfectly suited to its new surroundings, thrived.   Worried for the traveler, we asked whether he really dared tell this story. "I've tried before," he said.  "And they didn't beat you?" we wondered.  "Beat me?  Certainly they beat me," he said cheerfully. "The same lot as usual?" we inquired.  "The same?" he mused.  "I don't know."
The exhibitor wanted only a few shelves. which we have lent.  He has found a far better stage than our quiet rooms.   ("You find it tedious?" we asked him.  "I've been better entertained," he said.) Despite this delay, the Cabinet will soon and contentedly take down our shingle.
"Well, shall we go?"  "Yes, let's go."
They do not move.

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