Plagiarisms, etc. (The Ecstasy of Influence by Jonathan Lethem)

Artists and their surrogates who fall into the trap of seeking recompense for every possible second use end up attacking their own best audience members for the crime of exalting and enshrining their work. These nearly microscopic men in hats and coats scurry among an archipelago of desolate street corners, flattened brick-littered lots, a traffic island with a newspaper stand, and the Long Island Rail Road terminal, the only evidence for which above the ground is a pipe-and-plywood scaffold layered with decades of torn posterings. Those two sentences were plagiarized from Jonathan Lethem’s new book of essays, “The Ecstasy of Influence,” which argues for such abandonment of ownership, and which you should read.

About the Author: Elly Bookman

Elly BookmanElly Bookman, Contributor.  Elly Bookman's poems have appeared or are forthcoming in American Poetry Review, The Journal, Passages North, Cimarron Review, and elsewhere. She was the recipient of the first annual Stanley Kunitz Memorial Prize from American Poetry Review, and was featured in Rattle's Poet's Respond Series. Originally from downtown Atlanta, Elly teaches middle school in Wilmington, North Carolina.  

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