One Story to Rule Them All (Foster)

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"...a view of how stories get written, and a big part of that process is that you can't create stories in a vacuum.  Instead the mind slashes bits and pieces of childhood experiences, past reading, every movie the writer/creator has ever seen, last week's argument with a phone solicitor- in short, everything that lurks in the recesses of the mind." (Foster 30)

The fifth chapter of How to Read Literature Like a Professor made a good point- "there's no such thing as a wholly original work of literature" (Foster 29).  For that matter, there's really no completely original work of art. Have you ever heard a song and recognize beats that sound exactly like another song? I've had that happen many times.  Repeated story lines are prevalent in movies as well.  For instance, I am a big fan of Twilight, but just a few weeks ago I saw the movie Underworld for the first time.  I was surprised by some of the remarkably similar details.  In both movies, a human and a vampire fall in love; the vampires and werewolves are enemies; and the human is eventually turned into a supernatural being. These stories are really the same story, just the details are different.  Many works of art may actually be parts of several stories intertwined.  To say something is completely an original work of art is not really true, and I think it is important that Foster mentions this.  As Foster points out, realizing that so many stories feed off other stories is an advantage to the reader because it allows one to find a better understanding of the reading.

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You made me think of what the quote was saying differently. You usually know that when someone writes something it is because they have experienced it themselves. You would think that books need to be an original piece of work because if not it would be plagiarized, right? I guess not if an idea from book is taken and put into another. People do experience some of the same things and maybe they both want to write about it and it becomes the same story. But then my question is then how do people decide what is plagiarized and what is not? Or do authors have arguments and battles over their story being published again but just different people’s names? This information is interesting because this kind of thing happens all the time.

Nathan Hart said:

I really couldn't agree with you more. I think you put this quote in perfect wording. I have read the "Twilight" books and also saw the "Underworld movies and they do have very similar plots. Recently, especially in movies, I have been seeing very many of the same plots, and I don't know about anyone else but it's getting boring. How many times can the world really end? According to film makers, who are much like authors,the world was so close to ending so many times. Aliens tried to take over the world like 25 times. Who knew?

One thing that kind of upsets me with all of this is... WHERE'S PEOPLES ORIGINALLITY? what happened to creativity and original thoughts. These days, I believe that we rely on other people for things way to much and we need to start using our brains and being creative and original. People say that we need to use things around to spark ideas, but its pretty funny that multiple people have the same ideas.

Jessica Bitar said:

I agree with you that there is no original work of literature or art. Even though details are different in literature or a painting has different colors, shapes, and styles it still is not completely original. The thoughts, ideas, and visualizations had to of come from somewhere. Before an author writes a story they need to have an idea of what they write. That idea most likely comes from their lives and things they have experienced or seen. Works can be original in the fact that they are not exactly like another piece of literature and it is something new to the author. I think it is hard for people to be completely original in their works. There is so much going on in the world today that artists and writers are focused on so they don't really think outside the box and focus on what is right in front of them.

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