Summary Of The Ecstasy Of Influence: A Plagiarism

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In “Selections from Love 2.0” Barbara Fredrickson discusses how the origin of love can be found in science and human biology. In “An Army of One: Me” Jean Twenge shows that self-esteem must originate from accomplishments, not the other way around. In “The Ecstasy of Influence: A Plagiarism” Jonathan Lethem discusses how when you look into the origin of many things such as art and literature, you find that nothing is truly unique and that is okay. Drawing on the readings by Fredrickson, Twenge and Lethem, this essay will argue that studying the origins of things can complicate our understanding of ourself because it challenges the preconceptions we have of ourselves. When what you learn in school is not the same as what you find while investigating the…show more content…
Lethem showed how the famous writer, “Burroughs had incorporated snippets of other writers’ texts into his work, an action I knew my teachers would have called plagiarism. Some of these borrowings had been lifted from American science fiction of the Forties and Fifties, adding a secondary shock of recognition for me. By then I knew that this ‘cit-up method,’ as Burroughs called it, was central to whatever he thought he was doing” (Lethem 213). In school everyone, including Lethem, learns that plagiarism is bad- but Lethem shows that it can sometimes be integral to a piece. Lethem grew up his whole life thinking that plagiarism was bad and that it should be avoided at all costs. Reading Burroughs he realized that plagiarism perhaps is not that bad. This can cause him to reevaluate his values in life because one can only imagine all the amazing things Lethem could have done if plagiarism was an option. This can cause him to question himself because he had always believed in this one thing and now another man was acclaimed for doing the opposite. Twenge would agree with this because she also showed how the origin of something

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