Monday, April 05, 2010

Sell Your Soul to the Devil, Will Travel


This map from Lapham's Quarterly [via] of how some of the world's best known stories (including the Faust and Oedipus legends) have travelled over the centuries is absolutely fascinating.  Would we nowadays call writers plagiarists if they borrowed a plot?  This certainly doesn't seem to have worried authors like Thomas Mann and William Shakespeare.

5 comments:

Ee Leen Lee said...

Stealing ideas and acknowledging your sources with pride is called paying tribute. So I will pay tribute to Bono and say that every artist is a cannibal and every poet is a thief.

fireomen said...

THe title is very disturbing and scary though hahaha!
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Barbados Apartment Hotel

bibliobibuli said...

yeah, i was being very creative there. good old dr faustus!

gnute said...

Fascinating! I enjoyed this very much. John Banville's Mefisto was a reworking of Faustus, too; a cleverly written story about drug addiction.

Jonathan Lethem is our modern day champion of plagiarism (the healthy kind). He wrote this article http://www.harpers.org/archive/2007/02/0081387 about it and every sentence is a paraphrase of another source.

Reza Rosli said...

love maps like these! should be on a wall in every other classroom