Re "A classic, or a fraud?" Opinion, Feb. 3
Philip L. Fradkin points out that you can't libel a dead person -- which is, perhaps, unfortunate for Wallace Stegner. Of course, Stegner probably wouldn't have been too concerned about it. He understood how writers embellish the details of people's lives (as Mary Foote, no doubt, also understood) to create fiction, and would've thought it preposterous to suggest such details could be considered plagiarism or copyright infringement, or even worse, immoral. Such an attack is not new. Fiction writers have always endured such naive accusations simply because they are the only ones to admit that all writing is embellishment, despite the claims of critics, biographers, historians, journalists and other extollers of so-called nonfiction who would have you believe otherwise.