Plagiarism case against Spanish Nobel laureate could be reopened

April 21st, 2009 - 5:38 pm ICT by IANS  

Madrid, April 21 (DPA) A decade-old plagiarism case could be reopened in Spain against 1989 Nobel Literature Prize winner Camilo Jose Cela, the daily El Pais reported Tuesday.
As Cela died in 2002, the judicial complaint now targets Jose Manuel Lara, head of the Planeta publishing house who is being accused of helping Cela plagiarise Maria del Carmen Formoso’s 1994 novel “Carmen, Carmela, Carmina”.

Cela’s novel “La Cruz de San Andres” (Saint Andrew’s Cross) won the Planeta Literature Prize shortly after Formoso’s novel was published.

Formoso has waged a legal battle since 1998, but her case against the Nobel laureate was shelved twice.

Now, however, a Barcelona judge has concluded that there are many “coincidences and similarities” between her novel and Cela’s.

Cela’s “benefitted artistically” from Formoso’s novel, “transforming” it into an “aesthetically different” work, the judge said.

Planeta has appealed against the judge’s decision. If a higher court backs her, the case against Cela will be reopened.

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