Re: RARA-AVIS: Style vs Attitude

From: Mark Sullivan ( AnonymeInc@WEBTV.NET)
Date: 10 Feb 2000

ZOMBOY wrote:

"I guess it started with Joseph Shaw pointing to a Hammet story and saying, "write like this guy." And the authors would try to write within that formula, but would also write like themselves."

Years ago, I came up with my own theory of culture evolution. I call it the "fuck-up theory of culture." Most artists, high and low, start out by imitating their betters. Of course, not being the same person with the same background, they cannot perfectly duplicate them. Just as Pierre Menard in the Borges story could not duplicate Don Quixote, even though the words he wrote were identical. So it is to the amount that they screw it up while copying that they become original. If the artists are good, these "screw ups" will become the core of their personal style (or is that craft? sorry, couldn't resist). I later found out Jean Cocteau espoused a similar idea.


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