“Intertextual Mixing”

This is how you justify your plagiarism. You claim that you are part of a new generation of writers who get their sources from everywhere. Therefore it is okay to lift whole passages from blogs and novels and the like for your own book.

If I drank, I’d be taking a big gulp of vodka now.

The full story is here but basically the 17 year-old author of the best-seller “Axolotl Roadkill” is being called out for her plagiarism. A great deal of her book was lifted from a memoir called “Strobo”.

I’ll quote her justification for you to see:

Interviewed last week about the charges, Ms Hegemann’s defence was simply “I cannot understand what all the fuss is about.” While she acknowledges that she used numerous “sources” for her book, she also claims that she is a member of a different generation of writers which is used to adapting and using the abundance of information available online for its own creative purposes. “I remember sentences my friends tell me just as much as I take on the ideas of the Slovenian critical theorist Slavoj Zizek,” she told Der Spiegel, which described her as a “know-all”. “I went everywhere I could find inspiration,” she said about her book, and added: “There is no such thing as originality anyway, there is just authenticity.”

I don’t know if she really thinks this or if this is just trying to defuse the situation (though I think this is her actual viewpoint). It just makes me angry.

People who feel entitled really bother me. Like this page made me feel both amused and ticked off. When people get caught for plagiarism, they usually act like they didn’t know what was plagiarism. I’d rather have them be clueless than have them react like this girl, like she’s above the law. Oh it’s not plagiarism, it’s “intertextual mixing”. And if it was plagiarism…well no one is original anyway.

I don’t think originality is dead. Yes, there are certainly basic plot types but every person has different insights and new approaches to a subject. No one has lived your life and most people agree that writing what you know makes for a richer text. Even if you’re writing a fantasy novel. Even if you’re writing about a subject you’ve never experienced, you have an opinion about what you’re penning.

Okay, I needed to get that off my chest. Man Reviews coming soon.


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