CASE 3: The influence
Brilliant writing moves me (and I guess that is the whole point of literature). Sometimes friends ask me what I am reading as I may be in a Dostoyevsky mood or a little analytical like Irvin Yalom. When I was reading Jonathan Coe, I wrote THIS. When I was reading Nabokov’s “Lolita”, I wrote THIS. Do you see similarities in the tone in which I refer to my bicycle and Nabokov's opening paragraph? (‘Lolita, light of my life, fire of my loins. My sin, my soul. Lo-lee-ta: the tip of the tongue taking a trip of three steps down the palate to tap, at three, on the teeth. Lo. Lee. Ta. She was Lo, plain Lo, in the morning, standing four feet ten in one sock. She was Lola in slacks. She was Dolly at school. She was Dolores on the dotted line. But in my arms she was always Lolita’) Is this experimentation with styles (in life as well as writing) a form of plagiarism in disguise?
CASE 4: The self
The poem on loneliness CLICK HERE may be mine but I had already published it a year ago on my FB page. A couple of times I have slipped sentences onto my blog from published research I have myself written. It is mine, but is this recycling a form of plagiarism nonetheless?
CASE 5: The admiration
My concept behind Sunday Bests is to pay tribute to great and wondrous posts that I reprint and feature on my blog while giving credit. I do inform those I am publishing, but is this not also plagiarism? CLICK HERE and HERE and HERE. How would you feel if I included one of your posts in this context?
CASE 6: Photographs
One reason I don’t publish photographs of myself and my children – beyond keeping my anonymity safe - is because I feel that they can easily be swiped by anyone. Do you “borrow” photographs from other sites? Of course, common sense prevents me from repasting photos of someone's family. But is even this "harmless borrowing" of photographs (eg cartoons embellishing this very post) plagiarism?
That’s it for starters. I am sure I could come up with more possible "copyright infringements" if I really nit-picked. I won’t tire you, but you get the gist.
We are living in the age of information and are constantly bombarded by influences so that sometimes we aren't even aware that our words/ideas/style may not be original...it's called cryptomnesia. I sometimes wonder if there is anything new to think beyond cliches. Are ALL views - even original ones - just networks being built on pre-existing conceptual schemes or are most of us just content with borrowing other people's outlooks and cluttering the internet and our lives with tired, regurgitated perceptions. (It was your post today Robin on "Your Daily Dose" that made me think of that one - just to give credit to where credit is due though if I were to really do that I'd have to stop and thank someone at the end of every sentence).
Is anything really original? Even my beloved Nietzche was accused by Jung of plagiarism in his masterpiece, "Thus Spake Zarathustra", that includes an almost copied account of an incident included in a book published half a century earlier. Or consider the resemblance between Lord Byron's "Manfred" to Goethe's "Faustus". Didn't Shakespeare rip off so many already existing works and breathe new life into them? And aren't we glad he did? So is plagiarism acceptable when the copy surpasses the quality of the original? Furthermore, imagine Robert Louis Stevenson's embarrasment years after he wrote "Treasure Island" when it dawned on him that Long John Silver's parrot came from Robinson Crusoe and the skeleton was conveyed from Poe!
It is silly to believe that anybody should have a monopoly on parrots and skeletons, though that doesn't excuse plagiarism of course. So thank you so much anonymous reader for your comment. Please let me know which popular website you feel I have plundered...as I said before, it may be an influence of ALL sites and books I've ever read.
As for anyone else caring to comment, please don't spare punches when striking at my counterfeit existence as a blogger or as a person so lacking in originality and so influenced by my environment that I am uncertain of who I really am let alone who I could be. Perhaps this is the human condition. Well, these are just my concerns...or at least I believe them to be mine (sorry if you've thought of them first).
(As for the first part of the comment on my claim to being Australian, I must say that I have Australian citizenship and am not a Greek national but was born in neither of the two countries. So go figure! Have put quotation mark around "Australian" though the Aussie embassy in Greece embraces me as one whereas the Greek Aliens' Residency Bureau treats me just like an outsider. CLICK HERE FOR MY VERY FIRST BLOG POST THAT MAY GIVE YOU AN IDEA!
PS. I'm not really a Purple Cow, either!)
PS. I'm not really a Purple Cow, either!)
* Doppelblogger - Comes from the German "doppel", meaning "double". A doppelblogger is someone who plagiarizes the content of another blogger for personal gain or recognition.
AFTER READING SOME OF YOUR COMMENTS I DECIDED TO ADD THIS LINK ON THE VERY NATURE OF PLAGIARISM. WHAT IS IT EXACTLY?