[DWJ] Big Bad Read
rohina at shaw.ca
rohina at shaw.ca
Fri Jun 23 15:03:11 EDT 2006
Such an interesting question.
I think partly it's a question of intent (and also of reader
cleverness). That is, if I deliberately write in another author's style
and I expect people to realise it, then it's homage, if I have no idea I
am doing it, it's derivative, and if I am doing it but think no one will
notice, it's plagiarism. (Although I admit this is not the academic
standard; that's a whole nother kettle of fish.) e.g. David Lodge's The
British Museum is Falling Down is a pastiche of parodies, with each
chapter written in the style of a different modern novelist. When the
book came out, some critics thought it was clever, but others just
thought it was derivative.
> I've always wondered where to draw the line between homage and plagiarism. This sounds like a clear case of an author who knows the other author, was involved in a project with some other authors, and is continuing a delighful idea with a nod to a friend who has cool literary ideas. But I've been thinking about other forms of homage and/or stealing of ideas, and when I read this I thought I'd solicit opinions. What if a newbie author uses her/his favorite character name in her/his ms? Is that an homage or is it stealing? Does it depend on whether the original character is from a classic or from a newer work -- the classic being both possibly in the public domain and also more "owned" by the public by being so well-loved? For example, if a new fantasy writer used the names Romeo, Harry Potter, and Chrestomanci, I think the first would be totally acceptable, the second would slip by, and the third might be plagiarism.
> These are musings and I'm interested in your responses. I suppose this comes from my stance as a reader but also as an aspiring novelist; at times I've run into a name I love, but I do not to use other authors' character names because I figure it would be stealing to do so.
> (I know this discussion wasn't about names, so I admit to changing the topic....)
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