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Henry, Meet Charles

More Discoveries About Gates’ Discovery
The current issue of The New Yorker features an excerpt  from Narrative of a Bondswoman, a novel that seems to have been written by a 19th-century female fugitive slave. As Henry Louis Gates Jr. explained in this accompanying essay in the magazine, he bought the manuscript at auction and came to think that its author may have been “the first black female novelist.” After the magazine hit newsstands, scholars and readers began to notice that passages in the New Yorker excerpt echoed Charles Dickens’ Bleak House. Click here to read Gates’ subsequent comments, published Thursday, about the “striking similiarities” between the two books. “How audacious she must have been!” Gates says. “Imagine this ex-slave, reading Douglass and Stowe and Dickens and then trying to sketch out the conditions of her life by appropriating their rhetorical strategies, their language, and their metaphors. You could say that this kind of interplay between originality and tradition is the ultimate subject of literary scholarship: something borrowed, something new.” The full book is scheduled to be published in April.

Now, the Unintended Consequences
David Broder says campaign finance reform “hands President Bush an enormous advantage in his 2004 reelection campaign.”

My Olympics, Your Olympics
George Gates finds live coverage on Canadian television.

Thirty Seconds Over Sacramento?
Mickey Kaus thinks Gray Davis may gut Prop. 227, California’s popular anti-bilingual-education initiative.