In my elective class, Rhetorics and Politics of the Contemporary World, I made a connection between what we were learning and the Media course.
Leith & Myerson reading:
- “There are four ways of making a book. Sometimes a man writes others’ words, adding nothing and changing nothing; and he is simply called a scribe (scriptor). Sometimes a man writes others’ words, putting together passages which are not his own; and he is called a compiler (compilator).” … “Sometimes a man writes both others’ words and his own, but with others’ words in prime place and his own added only for purposes of clarification; and he is called not an author but a commentator (commentator). Sometimes a man writes both his own words and others’; but with his own in prime place and others added only for the purposes of confirmation; and he should be called an author (auctor)” (p. 152-153).
- “There is no one who writes purely in his own words. Everyone writes with other voices” (p. 153)
- “Voices always quote each other, and words belong to more than one voice at a time” (p. 153)
The above quotes screamed adaptations and remixes in my mind. Especially in the first quote, there are distinctions drawn about the role of a creator, at different levels. I think that people who create adaptations and remixes may fit into any one of the categories listed above, depending completely on the work produced, how much imagination the person has used, the degree of sampling and new ideas, and to what extent the source material has been changed.
This also brings back the concept of there being no such thing as an original idea, a topic explored in one of our Media lectorials. Thinking about the possibility of “words [belonging] to more than one voice at a time” is an outlook I had not previously given thought to, but it is very true. Just because one person says something first does not mean others have not thought the same thing or that these words can never be said again without “copying” the original speaker.
I think the debate surrounding adaptations and remixes will continue on for a long time to come because there is no clear line between inspiration and taking ideas. I enjoy finding connections between my classes, as it helps put into perspective the importance and scope of the concepts we are learning about.