Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Muderous intent

Wrote nothing today, nothing yesterday. I kind of tried, but it ended up being worse than nothing. I think the mini-manu-script I'm handing out today is taking its toll.

I've just been reading Lindsay's reading package and a fantastic essay called The Accidental Plagiarist (VQR, Spring 2007) by a guy called Erik Campbell. He is brilliant so funny and pop and insightful and for some reason morbid? The overarching theme I think was to do with the tradition of good artists 'stealing' from others (as T.S. Eliot once said). And I can't really disagree. Stealing is a part of it. Making it better is also a part of it. Bill Manhire was talking a while ago (and in his poem On Originality) about not only stealing from your literary forebears, but killing them off too. Eventually the aim is to use them to make better art (at least more relevant to contemporary audiences) at which point you have successfully killed them off. And that is kind of what he did with Robert Creeley at the start of his career and what I am trying to do with Michael Palmer I think. I love his work, a lot, but I want to love my work more. Stick a knife in a twist it and if I have to plagiarise the odd line, plunge that in, twist that then so be it.

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