In a most postmodern of post-postmodern tales, two writers have been uncovered as having committed mutual procedural plagiarism. This is the first known case of simultaneous, interdependent plagiarism. What remains unclear is how one writer could have copied from the other, what the second had already copied from the first. A short press conference attended by both did not do much to clarify the situation. Both men seemed to lack true motivation for being there. And when under increasing pressure from direct and at times belligerent questions from trained journalists, it became apparent that neither Mr. Goldsmith nor Mr. Menard really understood the very reason for attending their own press conference.
Although the confusion ultimately remains somewhat confused, two (probably relevant) facts have been uncovered since the incident began. It turns out that Pierre Menard in fact copied his famous Don Quichote word for word from the 17th Century original Don Quichote and cannot and never could recite any one of these words from memory. The original book, however, in all likelihood was copied out from memory by its author.
About Mr. Kenneth Goldsmith it has come to light that before scanning/typing every sign and letter from an edition of the New York Times, he in fact handwrote the whole thing on sheets of A3 paper. It is as of yet unclear whether Mr. Goldsmith bought this paper especially for the purpose of the exercise, or if he possibly had them lying around. The reason for the act of first writing out the entire paper itself has been subject to much speculation (ranging from boredom, practice, envy of Mr. Menard’s handwriting, admiration of Mr. Menard’s handwriting, a new kind of understated/hyper-intensive conceptualism, and many more).
Since the whole affair is suffused with nebulous inconclusiveness, the judge has allowed both men to figure things out for themselves and come back if this turns out to be necessary. At present both remain in disagreement about how to agree. But it is said they have decided to take their agreed disagreement to a neutral bar. The unsettling rumour has spread that both men play drinking games together that involve pens and beer coasters. Some of these coasters have been retrieved by stand-up and upright citizens, but unfortunately any handwriting has proven illegible.
Turn to page 11 for an interview with Hunter Stockton Thompson, another prominent copier of books. He has declined to comment on the situation.