A scrapbook of stuff I'm reading / looking at / listening to / thinking about...
Posts tagged "plagiarism"
When reading a 1976 oral history book called I Wish I Could Give My Son A Raccoon, he came across a line that seemed really familiar: “We’ve always been hewers of wood and the drawers of water.” He went home and checked his bookshelves:
I grabbed off the shelf a copy of Cormac McCarthy’s 1985 masterpiece, “Blood Meridian.” Right there in the first paragraph of the first page was the line: “His folk are known for hewers of wood and drawers of water …” I thought I had uncovered some secret, cracked a code. As McCarthy himself said in one of his rare print interviews, given to The New York Times in 1992, “The ugly fact is books are made out of books.” After a little more research, I found out this same line about hewers of wood and drawers of water appears in a much older and more well-known book, the King James Bible, in Joshua 9:23. At first I thought McCarthy had copied this woman’s line, but in reality, she had likely taken it from the Bible as he probably did. Unoriginality was much more ancient than I had originally suspected.
(via Aiden Livingston)
Show me an artist/writer who has not re-used dialogue or images or music or gestures and I will show you an artist who has no obsessions—aka, a pretty shitty artist. You know who was an awesome writer and wrote kickass dialogue? Shakespeare.
POLONIUS: What do you read, my lord?
HAMLET: Words, words, words.
From Troilus and Cressida:
PANDARUS: What says she there?
TROILUS: Words, words, mere words.
I could dig up more examples, but really, I rest my case here.
Exactly! As Hitchcock said, “Self-plagiarism is style.”