Saturday, February 27, 2010

Plagiarism and no end

In the never-ending story of Helene Hegemann and her plagiarism in the book "Axolotl Roadkill", the German newspaper FAZ (which seems to have devoted approximately 100 pages of newsprint to this topic in the last few weeks) has printed a comment by Durs Grünbein entitled "Plagiarism".

It was a puzzle for the readers, who quickly thought that the way of writing was so old-fashioned and remembered a piece by Gottfried Benn from 1926, also entitled "Plagiarism".

One wonders if the newspapers now think that plagiarism is okay, just as long as they tell us in the end who the real author might have been.

Update: The blog Dialog International has a nice translation of the meatist parts:
Gottfried Benn:
"Was heißt demgegenüber Entlehnung, was Plagiat oder Herkunft des Materiellen, man vergesse doch nicht, dass diese Begriffe in Sphären liegen, die ohne Raum und ohne Atem sind. Seit es Welten gibt, wo immer sich Reiche des Geistigen bildeten, gab es nur eine einzige Sphäre, in der alle Begriffe des Seelischen Maß und Halt, Verurteilung oder Rechtfertigung enthielten, die Sphäre des Schöpferischen, die Kunst."
(What, by contrast, constitutes borrowing, what is plagiarism or origin of the material. Lest we forget that these are terms in the spheres, which are breathless and space-less. Ever since worlds have existed, wherever spiritual realms were formed, there was only one sphere which contained all the terms of the spiritual dimension and support, condemnation or justification, the sphere of creativity, art.)

Das, was wir machen, ist eine Summierung aus den Dingen, die wir erleben, lesen, mitkriegen und träumen. Originalität gibt's sowieso nicht, nur Echtheit."
(What we do is the sum of the things that we experience, read, observe and dream. There is no originality, only authenticity.)

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