Can you quote yourself?

I’m working through a book right now (yes, I’m going to post something real one of these days) in which an author placed an unattributed quotation in the middle of a paragraph which was obviously intended to give support for his argument (a rather weak argument by the way). When I flipped to the end of the chapter to check the notes, I almost fell out of my seat. He was quoting himself from an article on the same subject! Isn’t that a little misleading? Shouldn’t you at least say something like, “As I stated elsewhere…”? This is one of the reasons I hate end notes.

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3 Comments on “Can you quote yourself?”

  1. Michael P. Says:

    A totally different approach was adopted by S.Y. Agnon in his collection of commentaries on the Yamim Noraim by that same title (Eng. title “Days of Awe”). He often quoted from a book called Kol Dodi. In the bibliography he said that the ms. is from the author’s collection. Later on it turned out that all of these comments were actually those of Agnon himself and he just didn’t want to say so.

  2. I heard a really good quote about this topic, “It is totally inappropriate to quote yourself” (Charles Halton, How to Write Scholaristically, forthcoming).

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