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CMS: Free-Appropriation Writers
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In this episode:

Appropriation. Plagiarism. When it comes to writing, what do these terms mean?


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49:29 minutes (23.76 MB)
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Recently an acclaimed 17-year-old German author was discovered to have lifted passages from other sources. She was unapologetic. There is no such thing as originality anyway, she said, just authenticity.

She's still in the hunt for literary prizes as some of the judges publicly acknowledge she might have a point. That IS the point of Reality Hunger: A Manifesto, a new book by David Shields. Shields made his book up from the work of other writers and objected when the publishers wanted an appendix citing the works. Shields says he's all about the banditry. He'll be with us today, as we consider the question of whether a new (or perhaps very old) definition of authorship is emerging.

Our friend Brian Slattery says is if something strikes you as original, that just means you haven't seen the thing it was based on. Wait, I said that ... who's Brian Slattery?

You can join the conversation. Leave your comments below, e-mail [email protected] or Tweet us @wnprcolin.

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Listener E-mail from Anonymous


Very interesting show today on plagiarism, copyright infringement, etc etc.
One unrelated question, could you tell me the name of singer and song that concluded show?
Sounded like Cranberrries "I've Heard it all before" but I could not find that song anywhere.
Am I close?
Thanks and thanks for the show it is very entertaining.

Listener E-mail from Mark

As a poet, there is always a question whether what I have written has been written by someone else before, & then by me, either just as coincidence, or just as not terribly original, or as having previously absorbed it subconsciously.  That is why I am particularly happy when I write something that I feel is truly original such as the fifth line of this poem:

We Men


We have fallen by the wayside, we men,

One at a time or in bunches.

Unfaithful, weak kneed, confused

Inconsiderate, ill-mannered, immaterial,

Iffy, itchy, icy, insular.

Inebriated, inconsolable, incandescent.

We love, we earn, we carry, we cook.

And yet, one by one,

We are gone.



I am fairly sure that no one has ever put these words together in this order before!