Friday, July 24, 2009

WrItInG tHe wRoNgS.

So, I came across an article in the NYT today:

The title caught my eye: "A Moveable Feast" - quite possibly one of my favorite literary treats. As I got to reading this treatise, I was a bit floored. Who in their right mind would allow someone to re-write another man's memoir? For reals?

Sure, at times we find ourselves borrowing from those who inspire us - but we surely don't mutilate their work. So, at what point should a line be drawn between borrowing and defacing? Sure, renditions of famous paintings cause no real harm - in fact one pays a sort of homage by doing so. In any art form you can borrow to adhere to your own, but in no way should it be appropriate to amend an individual's praised and completed work...simply because you do not agree with what that individual has written.

In the case of literature, it's completely acceptable to form your style around the works of another author. However, it is not appropriate to take one's book, re-write sections of the story (that you feel are the correct set of occurrences)and then keep the title, with the author's name, and adding your own. I'm completely fine with someone taking the work and responding to it in a matter that they feel rights the wrong - but in their own words, on their own pages with their own title. Honestly, when this sort of thing happens I feel there is only one to blame - the publishers. As keepers of the books that authors entrust to them, they have no right to allow such blatent disgrace.

I seriously hope people do not buy this book if Scribner does decide to publish the piece. Srsly, now.

No comments:

Post a Comment