'The line between plagiarism and intertextuality/recontextualiztion has become blurred anyway, as notions of authorship and originality have been problematized.'
Alan, could you explain your point a bit more lucidly ?. I'm curious as to what you mean by this statement.
How has the the issue become 'problematized' ? - is it a problem ?
Holy cow that's a mouthful, Alan. But oddly enough - I think I know what you're saying and agree with you.
Heh. Thanks for that, jkn. Well, Pete asked for it... so, yes, I’ll bite, though you should know that ‘lucidity’ isn’t one of my virtues ;-)
At the risk of typecasting myself as the resident pseudo-intellectual , some of the ideas to do with the authorship issue (and yes, it IS a problem, or at least, it has been problematized) can be found in the opening paragraphs of this chapter from a textbook on Semiotics. Caution is advised, though; bedtime reading it is not: http://www.aber.ac.uk/media/Documents/S4B/sem09.html
What it says about “text” and “writer” and “language” is, arguably, applicable to the context of music composition, and underlies my comment on Lähtö's admission of appropriation of Hammock's musical text.
I think problematized
is preferable to it being called a problem
. The semiotic, and general postmodern, stress on intertextuality is a highlighting of the power of influence; that text and music production do not arise in a vacuum, but on the backs of precursors, from which it must
borrow. New authors/composers re-write and re-arrange what has gone before, they don't create ex nihilo, and they therefore owe a great deal to the tradition in which they are nurtured ... it is what they work with, and within. But of course, we know this already, and its not really a problem. Its just that authorship, and the notion of author, are constituted within this system of exchanges, and can not be free from it. Appropriation is the name of the game, whether we like it or not. And whether we admit it or not. So given that authors must borrow, the notion of authorship is problematised. But not eradicated. We still attempt to make things our own and put our slant onto what we have borrowed and absorbed. Borrowing only becomes a problem
with a shift in the direction of wholesale quoting or mindless mimicing (?) of other works, and leads to plagiarism of a bad sort when this quoting is not owned up to. The extreme is the cover band that pretends the works are their own compositions.
The upshot is that originality is somewhat overrated and misguided, especially in the western "culture of the individual"
But enuf of all that. Time for chardonnay, and a new episode of Lost !