Readings | week one

Jonathan Lethem’s The Ecstasy of Influence: A Plagiarism
Kirby Ferguson’s Embrace the Remix

Between  Inspiration, Influence and Plagiarism a very thin line. Not only the thin line reside there but also when we belong to a certain artistic movement or a certain school of beliefs or even a certain cultural. Both of Lethem and Ferguson explain the importance of Influence and Inspiration that many times (if not most of the times) is the primal source for creativity. Unconsciously or Consciously we have all been subjected to this form of Influence or inspiration while we are creating.
However, that notion of Influence is a form that they tend to be more forgiven and lenient with in certain scenarios: Dylan an example that they both used, and both tend to accept the fact that he literally used tunes and lyrics that were already created by another author under the title of Influence and Inspiration… So where do we draw the line really? Many Art or Literature belong to the same movement or schools, so one can directly see certain similarities and influences through out the work of a certain group of people. However using a notion of thinking like “time” or “beauty” or” space”, etc. is different from using the same idea created for “time”, the same sentence, the same tune, the same lyrics, etc… It is not influence anymore, it’s copy, it’s plagiarism unless recognized. When we are Inspired or Influenced we don’t copy… We use certain knowledge or sense to come up and create something “new”…  I also tend to think that somehow generalizing  like Ferguson puts it that we need to accept that all our ideas are recycled and inspired is somehow an extreme thinking of a non-creative person, who is probably giving himself a very good excuse to constantly “remix” and call it creativity.


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