'There is no such thing as originality anyway... ': authorship in the age of digital reproduction

Kaja Marczewska

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


    For including the passages quoted above, without acknowledgement, in their most recent novels, both Houellebecq and Hegemann faced accusations of plagiarism. In both cases, their creative practices were identified and brought to the public attention by bloggers in France and Germany, respectively; Houellebecq’s sources were revealed by Vincent Glad and discussed online on Slate.fr on September 2, 2010,5 and Hagemann’s by Deef Pirmasen in a blog post from February 5, 2010, on Die Gefühlskonserve: As Seen in Real Life blog.6 There are further similarities: both authors refuted the indictments by claiming their plagiaries were not plagiaries at all but expressions of authentic, creative endeavors, reflecting current developments in the literary scene and beyond. Both received high critical acclaim for their writing; Hegemann as a finalist in the competition for the $20,000 Leipzig Book Fair prize for fiction and Houellebecq as a winner of 2010 Goncourt Prize. The general approach to the two publishing controversies raises questions about the notions of creativity and originality while also challenging accepted limits of literary influence, adaptation, and appropriation. Taking the debate surrounding the two literary cases as a starting point, this chapter looks at ways new technologies affect current approaches to concepts of originality, authorship, and creativity.
    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationThe paradox of authenticity in a globalized world
    EditorsRussell Cobb
    PublisherPalgrave Macmillan
    Number of pages18
    ISBN (Print)9781137353825, 9781137353832
    Publication statusPublished - 2014


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