What else would they be saying? The entire poem is a composite. A transformative composite, yes.
A new work of art made from the raw materials of other texts. Now I can give them the whole thing. Truthfully, I am justifying both my own habits as a writer and my broad fair use arguments when I appeal to this line. I believe Eliot meant what I mean, and that he is my corner, artistically speaking. Of course writers and artists build on each other. Immature poets imitate; mature poets steal Tongfamily. My Google search took me straight to you — where I found exactly what I needed — so thanks for that! Thanks to you and Cyrena Pondrom, for enriching the internet with some actual scholarship.
I was looking for the original source of this quote, too. Thank you thank you thank you. Thank you for the info! I had heard the amended quote attributed to various songwriters usually one or another of the Beatles and went looking for its origin. I had always agreed, conditionally, with the sentiment, and am pleased to find out that the original text supports exactly the same conditions!
I agree with Jessica; I have never encountered an instance of this quote that uses it to argue wholesale plagiarism is artistically justified. Thank you for the clarification! This is the blog link: First I would like to thank you for the research and clarification. I steal their ideas on composition, colors or layout. The finished work is completely seen as original by anyone viewing it. I used to think that this was somehow underhanded until I came across this quote. I wanted to do some research and find out where it actually came from. That brought me here.
This post is informative and well researched and I thank you. Thank you for posting this. It never made sense to me as a justification for plagiarism, regardless of who said it. Firstly thanks a lot for your research. I have often used the quote, with a touch of black humour, to justify my own lack of creativity.
Thanka for the research. The issue has been on my mind a bit more since the flareup over the Obama poster. Just when does a derivative work become original? We all stand on the sholders of the greats who came before us. We readily accept creative stealing of technoligy; why are the arts any different?
S Elliot was observant, wise, and, most of all, honest. Thanks for clarifying the facts around this quote found in various wordings. Still, I think the essence of the quote is not outrageous or offensive at all: We all build upon the work of people e. I guess this would have been around the same time as TS Elliot?
Maybe it was just a zeitgeist thing in the artist communities of the time. Ofcourse all artists borrow and steal to a certain degree, you could just call it influence or culture. Nancy, thank-you, this post was indeed very helpful.
Thank you for clearing up the matter. Instead, my posting was kind of rambling, but I did refer folks back to your site, in case they are as anal retentive as I am. But Eliot knew the distinction. One can find an idea and breathe new life into it: Thank you, this was very informative! I have wondered for many years where this quote steamed from. I do think many people have used this quote at a license to steal for many years… T. It is not a stealing of ideas but a cumulative process.
I found an other article that uses this concept in a different manner, but still in a very effective way. I saw somewhere somehow or did I surmise unfortunately I cannot remember where that T. Eliot borrowed heavily — raided it seemed at the time -from contemporary free verse poets of his time for his own style. S set out to do and did.
But the juncture of influence with plagiarism is a funny thing. I saw a section Shakespeare once that seemed to be the source of Between the idea And the reality Between the motion And the act Falls the Shadow.. S won on that, but how could he do it? Might as well ask: Later refusing Animal Farm.. He sent his wife to the loonies after she came up with the title to The Waste Land..
Thank you for your answer to this… I agree with you that unscrupulous writers, as T. Eliot was, with that quote lingering through time, have promoted theft and ruin of other poets… not old classics, but his contemporaries… and that is wrong… yes… I agree that as poets we should be the antennae of popular culture… thus synthesize the current trends.. I had previously just thought it was a semi-common expression. Just look at the Da Vinci Code. Dan Brown was obviously heavily influenced by previous books, setting the ground for his basic synopsis. This was very informative. I have wondered for many years whence came this quote.
This quote has licensed many people to steal for many years. It most certainly did change my perception, and the full quote is so much richer! A shame that things often get boiled down to sound bytes, because they lose the much more powerful meaning. But the irony of honestly trying to attribute the quote is that its meaning runs counter to that.
Not meaning to hijack this thread, but famous quotes often have histories that not only obscure their originator but also their meaning. And that quote is a reworking of one from the middle ages: Thanks for unearthing this quote. I too had thought the bastardization of this quote originated from Picasso. Steal right Sam Dobbin. I found this after google-yi-xia-ing Engnese, sorry what I believed to be a quote from Picasso.
Thank you for tracking down what he said. You have also inspired me to join the Eliot Society. Good detective work too. Nancy, this TS Elliot piece is very interesting, good story, The quote of great artists steal has actually been used in business books.
Thank you for doing this research! I too found the quote out of sync with my impressions of Eliot. Eliot in a paper. Having had the pleasure of meeting Picasso seceral times in Paris from to when I returned to North America I doubt very much he said anything like the alleged quote. To steal is, then, to develop something already existent. But the use people like to do of an information, especially without context, is often the use of their conveniences.
I can say, however, that it will see a new audience at least. I will use the phrase but call it a phrase, not a quote. I for one, given the opportunity, would rather use the actual original quote rather than the mutation. The mutant is pithy, but the original quote makes a far more important and subtle point. The quote is a deviation of a phrase in a T. I used an allusion to it when I ripped off a Fitzgerald line… the whole of my writing appeared as follows: Scott Fitzgerald, under the advice of T.
I always thought this was a Picasso quote about artists. Thanks for the clarification and research. Shoot, I love that quote. And I can totally see Eliot saying that, but he never said anything so concisely! Where is all the mashup sampling literature? Thank you for this page. I had planned on using the Picasso quote for a presentation to students about plagiarism, and wanted to make sure that he had actually said it. Finding your page has helped me explain how important it is to find the primary source of a quote. The students will be taught what a a secondary source is by viewing the Steve Jobs interview from http: Eliot lifted the entirety of St.
Augustine time and John Donne metaphysics , all his life. He painted their subject for them while they were dead. And he added Eliot flair. Chain me to the rock. I am part of the eternal conversation. Thanks for your thoughtful response Mr. The great artist, however, turns the influences into something entirely new. Many of the best electronica, experimental, and pop music artists working today include sampling in their work. Your above quote seems to me to devalue their work.
An artist who has devoted his or her life to making music, and who chooses to use samples, should not in my opinion be held to a different standard than Eliot, Rauschenberg, or any other artist. Surely he or she should not be lumped together with a year-old illegally downloading a Justin Bieber album.
This conflation strikes me more as a legal than an aesthetic stance. Oh how years pass and time flies. At the time I posted this essay, there were people using the quote to justify stealing content over P2P networks as well as mashups and sampling. Eliot would have probably liked sampling when it resulted in something transformative, something new. Not to put words in his mouth but he probably would have considered sampling for sampling sake a sign of an immature artist.
Wow, what a thorough job you did…thanks for clarifying and documenting…I keep a quotation blog http: Elliot said these quotes…and now I know. Nothing Is Original Lifehacker Australia. Steal Like an Artist and Relax: I had always used the quote not to justify taking others work, but for drawing on a variety of sources to inspire new design. So, I suppose this post did not change the way I use the quote, but I appreciate the thorough background research. I saw this quote on Jezebel, in a Lady Gaga misuse situation.
Thanks for taking the time to write this. Writing for Fame and Fortune. I just want to say, I think it is amazing that this small but worthwhile comment section has gone on for 4 years, continues to generate new comments and responses from the poster.
I came across it as I searched the phrase in response to another blog post http: I have left my blog up primarily for this post. I look forward to reading the blog post you referenced in the comment. The Hang of Music: I was infuriated when I came across the quote, and wondered why on earth someone accomplished would have said it, because its exactly the kind of thing that lends a misgiving to the credibility of the person who quoted it.
But on reading this, I learnt actually relearned how half-understood things are often taken out of context and read in a light other than originally intended. First, thanks for this. A note and a comment. As I read it, Eliot is saying that ALL poets use the work of others, given that poets are either immature or mature there are no other possibilities. So, in the face of the inevitable imitation or theft, you have the good and the bad uses of what is taken. As an example of good use, I change medium again. The similarity is striking, but Bernstein, starting out with the same rising minor 7th, goes in an entirely different direction, literally to a new place.
I hate to think of the loss to all of us if he had said, no, people will think I stole from Beethoven, and had therefore written a different melody for Tony and Maria to sing. Bill, Thanks for clearing this up. But no matter, because your comment, coming more than four years after the original post, seems to answer the whole riddle!
You see, for me it was less interesting that someone was misquoting TS Elliott than to understand how Picasso got associated with the quote, which by the way I first learned through articles written about Steve Jobs. It is rare that such a riddle could be answered so neatly, at least to me, in one four year long comment thread. The only remaining question is whether Steve Jobs started misquoting Picasso after reading the Richardson biography of Picasso.
“Immature poets imitate; mature poets steal; bad poets deface what they take, and good poets make it into something better, or at least something different.”. It means that if you are good enough, you will not only try to write something similar to another poet, you will take his words, change them and.
Poetry Tow Truck Thanks for writing this. Steve Jobs is somewhat famous for his re-use of the shorter quote, and my interest in what he meant when he said that led me to see if I could find a source for the quote, which led me here. I linked you because I wanted to quote the T. Seemed only fair to stop in and say thanks, because the Eliot bit really tied my piece together. I just logged on to my blog to find an incredible spike in traffic on the day you posted this comment, and I guess linked to my post. I was not aware Steve Jobs had used the quote until I read your post!
Thanks for linking, and writing. I am going to peruse your blog now! Great Poets Steal Matters Not. Obsessive, Compulsive, Procedural 5: Scooby-Doo Sound On Sight. Thank you a lot for sharing this with all people you actually understand what you are talking approximately! Themis-Athena Lioness at Large books view quotes. Jun 15, Vivek books view quotes. Jun 14, GG 1, books view quotes. Apr 23, Ryan books view quotes. Apr 17, Talia 5, books view quotes. Apr 10, Maria books view quotes.
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I found this after google-yi-xia-ing Engnese, sorry what I believed to be a quote from Picasso. Thank you for doing this research! Copying is a necessary part of creativity. But the irony of honestly trying to attribute the quote is that its meaning runs counter to that. Brian Ford brianericford says:
Jan 27, Gary 89 books view quotes. Dec 13, Jeff books view quotes. Dec 06, Linda books view quotes. Dec 05, The Supreme Court held that use of the small part of the earlier lyrics in this way was a tribute to the earlier piece rather than plagiarism, since it has not retained the same literary significance or has clearly and distinctly acquired a semantically different meaning from the previous work. It will always be a delicate task for courts, whose remit does not normally include literary criticism, to make assessments of this kind.
But at least the principle has been accepted, that literary allusions should not simplistically be assumed to be copyright infringement. Register now for more insights, news and events from across Osborne Clarke. The European connected consumer: Digital business Energy and utilities Financial services Life sciences and healthcare Real estate and infrastructure Recruitment Retail and consumer Transport and automotive. Sector Please select Digital business Energy and utilities Financial services Life sciences and healthcare Real estate and infrastructure Recruitment Retail and consumer Transport and automotive.
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