Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Gladwell "Something Borrowed" Summary and Response

In Gladwell's article "Something Borrowed", he addresses the issue of plagiarism and compares the fine line between plagiarism and creativity. He first starts out by describing his personal experience with plagiarism in the play "Frozen" and how a majority of it is based of his writing and the life of a psychiatrist named Dorothy Lewis. He continues to examine what is considered to be plagiarism through examples of composed music and the similarities between songs that have been written throughout the years. A common theme in the article is comparing the ideas of written plagiarism and creative plagiarism and when we decide whether it is intentional or if it is common knowledge. Gladwell also has a visit with the writer, Lavery, who wrote the play and she sincerely didn't think that she was plagiarizing. She found it to be news and ideas rather than concrete, black and white, or intentional plagiarism.

I found this article to bring up several key ideas and made me think critically about what we consider to be plagiarism. My favorite example was how several movies have been adapted from "Silence of the Lambs" and don't get punished for plagiarism, but written examples, such as plays or pieces of writing, are exceptional no no's in the world of academia. Even with music there is a fine line between what is copy write and what is accidental creativity derived from inspiration.

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