To Live Outside The Law

December 27th, 2005 · No Comments
by Booksquare

“Immature poets imitate; mature poets steal.” -T.S. Eliot

Hmm, in one of those funny coincidences, the song playing on the stereo is Dean Wareham & Britta Phillips’ (okay, it’s Luna without the rest of the band) Ginger Snaps. It blatantly cribs from the theme song from the Mary Tyler Moore show (“You’re gonna make it after all” becomes “We’re gonna make it after all”). This is a blatant, clear case of honoring the source. You know the reference being made by the song. You’re singing it your head right now. It’s homage, not ripping off.

The idea of stealing versus plagiarizing continues to intrigue Dan Wickett to the point that he asked members of the EWN to weigh in with their thoughts on intertextuality. Or

The recent controversy over Brad Vice’s short story collection has led to some discussions about intertextuality – the idea of merging scenes and ideas, or even actual text, from a previously published work, into one’s own work, to create a new work.

The comments are most interesting because of the thoughtful approach taken by the respondents. They get the idea that art inspires art. They get that stealing is bad. They get it. It leads to the question that should be explored: how does this vision of art fit into today’s corporate copywritten world?

File Under: Our Continuing Fascination With Copyright