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.: March 2010 --> Is Helene Hegemann a new kind of writer, or an old, dishonest kind?

Is Helene Hegemann a new kind of writer, or an old, dishonest kind?

» German teenager Helene Hegemann's book, which includes unattributed passages from other writers, has been selected as a finalist for the prize of The Leipzig Book Fair. When a blogger noticed his own work in her book,

[Ms. Hegemann] presented herself as a writer whose birthright is the remix, the use of anything at hand she feels suits her purposes, an idea of communal creativity that certainly wasn't shared by those from whom she borrowed.

After exploring the historical precedents of allusion and mashups, the article gets to the heart of the matter:

You could argue, of course, that Warhol's use of a soup can or Danger Mouse's use of the Beatles and Jay-Z on the Grey Album represent one thing, a re-contextualizing of cultural artifacts so well known they are a kind of shorthand. But does lifting from an obscure blogger -- or even importing a description of a sunset by Steinbeck or a suburban tableau from Updike -- accomplish the same thing?

 [ 03.17.10 ]



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