Did True Detective plagiarize Thomas Ligotti?

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One of the biggest shows from this past year was True Detective but the show is now embroiled in controversy as allegations of plagiarism have arisen from someone accusing Nic Pizzolatto of lifting Rust Cohle’s quotes from another writer that no one has heard of.

If you haven’t been following the story, CNN provides some background on just why this is all such a big deal.

On Monday, Mike Davis — the editor of a site devoted to horror writer H.P. Lovecraft and Lovecraft’s “Cthulhu Mythos” — published a long conversation with Jon Padgett, who oversees a website devoted to the reclusive horror writer Thomas Ligotti. In the piece, the pair compare phrases from Cohle’s “Detective” speeches with Ligotti’s work and conclude that Pizzolatto plagiarized from Ligotti, lifting or paraphrasing from a Ligotti work called “The Conspiracy Against the Human Race.”

Ligotti is a little known horror writer who has a strong cult following, so these allegations are coming from a real place. But the question is are the allegations baseless or do they hold some water?

After looking over the work, it’s easy to see where the plagiarism can be connected, but to say that the show was lifted in any way from the work of Ligotti is a bit of a stretch. If Pizolatto is guilty of plagiarism based off of the evidence given, then a warrant needs to be out from the plagiarism police for Quentin Tarantino as nothing Pizzolatto lifts is similar enough to be directly stolen from Ligotti.

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Tags: Television True Detective

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