View Full Version : Out: Plagiarism; In: Intertextual Mixing!

Generation ABXY
02-19-2010, 04:57 PM
Failing to venture too far out of my genre, I’ve never heard of Axolotl Roadkill (a story set in Berlin’s hedonistic underground), but this newly-published novel is apparently relatively popular, being already in its third edition and nominated for a literary award. However, according to this Independent story (http://www.independent.co.uk/arts-entertainment/books/news/publish-and-be-damned-young-writers-ego-dramatically-punctured-1904037.html), it seems 17-year-old author Helene Hegemann copied several parts of the book from various sources, including one particularly agitated blogger. Unfortunately, that may be the least saddening thing here...

In an artful attempt to steal their critics' thunder Ms Hegemann and her publishers have gone on the offensive. They have managed, in part, to turn what at face value appeared to be a clearcut case of stealing somebody else's words into a wide-ranging debate about the meaning of plagiarism in the online era. They argue that Axolotl Roadkill is merely an example of modern " intertextual mixing".

Interviewed last week about the charges, Ms Hegemann's defence was simply "I cannot understand what all the fuss is about." While she acknowledges that she used numerous "sources" for her book, she also claims that she is a member of a different generation of writers which is used to adapting and using the abundance of information available online for its own creative purposes.

We’ve seen this sort of thing a number of times in recent years – especially in the young adult genre – but I don’t think I’ve ever seen someone so blatantly unapologetic about it. I think her tone may irk me more than the actual plagiarism. Of course, it doesn’t help that her publisher’s practically in league with her (no doubt due to the book’s success), providing that oh-so-gentle euphemism and the now the token gesture of providing sources.

I can't help but fear how little the cut-and-paste generation may have to offer...

Ink Asylum
02-19-2010, 06:24 PM
It's just like remixing a song, only it's a novel! Why is everyone so upset? Gah!

J Arcane
02-19-2010, 06:56 PM
She needs to grow the fuck up.

She'll learn the hard way if she goes to college, though if she's doing as well as you say, the bint may never wind up there.

02-19-2010, 07:49 PM
Does that mean I can steal whatever her publisher puts out, claim it as my own and they'll be cool with it?

Pale Ale
02-19-2010, 07:58 PM
Does that mean I can steal whatever her publisher puts out, claim it as my own and they'll be cool with it?

Only if your a German Street Kid, but that's ok, we all know you are.

02-19-2010, 09:11 PM
...As a writer this sickens me. Plain and simple. There's a fine line between using similar (or honestly the same) plots and just outright taking things other people have done themselves and worked hard on and call it your own.

Just because you photoshop a picture of Edward and Bella against a moonlit setting and added glitter text doesn't mean that picture is yours. And what kind of example is this setting for people? Plagiarism is enough to get you expelled in some universities, so what happens when they say 'well, published writers do it, so why can't I?'

...Ugh. Savok needs to hurry up and blow up the world.

Generation ABXY
02-19-2010, 09:42 PM
Does that mean I can steal whatever her publisher puts out, claim it as my own and they'll be cool with it?

I wondered the same thing, but I imagine their lawyers would just tear me to pieces before I could say, "hypocrite."