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Sen. Biden's Problems With Plagiarism

September 26, 1987

The brouhaha over Biden's unattributed quotations reminds me of a conversation I had many years ago with Thornton Wilder. I mentioned that his play, "The Matchmaker," bore a remarkable resemblance to a play by Johannes Nestroy, an early 19th-Century Austrian playwright, the title of which, loosely translated, would be "The Trickster." Wilder responded, with his usual twinkling charm, "Of course, I stole it. I steal all the time--but only from the best."

Certainly, Biden's stealings or borrowings are far superior to those of the present incumbent who takes many of his rhetorical quotations from grade B, Rambo-esque movies.

ELINOR LENZ

Los Angeles

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