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Reality Hunger vs. Fun Home - What is plagiarism?

ckosarek's picture

 On Tuesday, we discussed that Alison Bechdel's Fun Home is brimming with literary reference. Bechdel incorporates everything from Joyce to Salinger to Greek mythology in an effort to tell her "own" true story. And many of her allusions are not cited, as she has determined that they are part of culture's collective, general knowledge. I find this an ironic juxtaposition to Reality Hunger, which argues that everything is collective knowledge, yet still cites (albeit begrudgingly) all of its references (we think). In light of this, perhaps Bechdel's work is making a larger point about collective knowledge than Shields' work is, despite that the core intention of Shields' work is to destroy the ownership of ideas. But maybe I'm wrong. Maybe Bechdel's references make no point about copyright because all of the authors she cites are dead. 
 

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