How many of prize originality?
Whether it is within our own minds or within the minds and talent of others around us, how often do we seek some flash of inspiration, some wonderful original masterpiece, or simply wish to have a thought which we can truly call our own?
I suspect most of us feel that way at one time or another, regardless of any perceived or artistic or whatever talent. I also suspect that, within our own minds, we generate such originality, and, given an opportunity we are keen to share such thoughts with the world.
It could be said that by witting this post such originality of thought is being displayed, but is this true? Certainly I have not plagiarised the work of others, and I have not copied any of the words or sentences you see before you. These thoughts, and these words come from within me, but despite such due care and attention, I have to admit that all my words are in part influenced by events thousands, if not millions of years before my time.
As such I cannot claim originality, and none of us can claim originality, for are we not a product of our upbringing, and have not our codes of behaviour and perception of reality and normality, been formulated since the beginnings of time?
Our ancient ancestors were primitive by comparison to our time, but do they not still reside within us. We may have words, science, and brilliant technology, but we are still afraid of the dark, we still filch at a lightning strike and the sight or thought of the paranormal fills a lot of us with fear.
Our morals, beliefs, principles, and cultural belief and assumptions have all been formulated throughout history, and though we may dress them up in new clothes as if they were a mannequin in a dress shop, are our modern values really so very new or different
Even as individuals do we not suffer the same problem. Can any of us really claim to a free and uncluttered mind? Are will not all a product of our upbringing, in acceptance or in rejection, and as such can any of us really speak with a free mind?
The irony is that, despite of such insurmountable difficulties; we still speak of an original masterpiece, whether it is a book, a concept, a piece of music, or a picture that we can gaze upon for hours. Technically it is an original of course, as before the writer, artist, musician, or theorist recorded the finished article it had no existence, just as this post-definitely not a masterpiece- had no existence before I opened up a page on the screen; but what of the thought processes that precedes such articles. Have not our thoughts, all of our thoughts, been modified by what we learnt through research, or assimilated fro everything we have heard, tasted, smelt, touched, or sensed around us?
A friend of mine who is both an authoress and playwright recently stated that a reader had thought her work was so good that it must have been plagiarised. This was obviously disconcerting to her, but are we not all plagiarists in some form.
If I steal the words of a modern author without his or her permission, then certainly I am guilty of such a charge, but am I equally guilty as a quote Voltaire, or by my own admission, find my views on life influenced by the work of George Bernard Shaw. Plagiarism may be defined as the wrongful appropriation of an author’s language, thoughts, and ideas, but the ghosts of Voltaire and Shaw have not signed a release form, and therefore how do I know whether their words, or logical reasoning, may be reflected here
This post is closing now, but as you navigate away from this post, after hopefully leaving a comment, just think about what you have seen before you, and think about how your thoughts and words have been preordained or fashioned, by the inevitable march of time.
Thank you for reading this post; I hope you will come back for more.
- Art: Inspiration or Plagiarism? (chimericalredamancy.wordpress.com)
- Copy Cat who? (medialawsuitsandties.wordpress.com)
- Thoughts and Feeling: Plagiarism (matypus.wordpress.com)