where art imitates life

In Cokcraco, Turner defends his hero poet Bantu from charges of plagiarism

‘Sizwe Bantu occupies the novel form like a hermit crab inhabits a shell,’ you say. ‘He borrows not only the form, but the words themselves. In this postmodern world, he samples, intertextualises, palimpsests …’

You can hear the snort. ‘You’re talking about his plagiarism? You
mean derivative?’
‘If you, sir, had read your Bantu carefully, you would realise that there
is no such thing as an original thought or an original word—they are
all second-hand. All that writers can do is juggle them around a bit.
Bantu uses plagiarism as a device. What Bantu is doing, sir, is merely
postmodernising, sampling, to use a musical image, not plagiarising,
but referring, connecting. Bantu samples, or extrapolates, or textualises,
or …’


Now check out the Australian




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