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Thoughts About "Texts Without Context"

EVD's picture

I really enjoyed reading "Texts Without Context" by Michiko Kakutani, especially the first section concerning plagiarism. Jaron Lanier makes a case for plagiarism by describing the "mashup" of thinking in the modern world as positive because new culminations of previous thinking lead to ideas "more important than the sources who were mashed." ...These ideas, while not obviously related to our fact vs fiction discussion, made me see the fact vs fiction problem in a new way. Maybe the "mashup" of ideas that Lanier describes is similar to a memoir writer's "mashup" of experiences. While perhaps a memoir is not necessarily completely true, each detail offered in the memoir is somehow a product of the writer's memories and therefore is true in some way...and perhaps even more true than the actual events that occured. My new understanding is that Hempl's "first draft" may very well be even more true than a revised version after she checks her facts because the "mashup" of her collective memories provides a more accurate portrayal of herself as a young girl than any video footage of the actual events could.

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