the internet's culture of sharing contents & a "young and talented" writer

... alright: publishing a book at the tender age of 17 years, why not, after all, the young ones have got something to say, too - in all contexts. Thanks to blogging and the internet, making your voice heard isn't a problem any more, and if your daddy or your mummy occupy a comfortable position within the field of cultural production, all the better - you may even see your diary published, or be encouraged to write a book.

We all know that this happens every now and then, we've got examples in various languages, the German-speaking world warmly welcomed Benjamin Lebert's debut novel "Crazy" some years ago, and now there is the particular case of a certain Helene H....

...whose debut novel came out just a few days ago and was unanimously (in an almost suspicious way) greeted by critics. Until it turned out (the German blog Gefühlskonserve did some very meticulous research, luckily...) that the teenager had copied passages from the "live" blog by an anonymous author called Airen and the resulting book Strobo that was brought out by an independent publisher (whilst H.'s publishing house is far from being a small one...).

Now, what I do find a little bit worrying is the fact that H.'s publisher (she may actually be too young, or too naive, or too dumb to even bother about the whole thing, who knows...) now justifies what she did (let's get things straight: we are not even talking about "productive reception" or "intertextuality", this is, obviously, a case of plagiarism...) by her young age and the corresponding fact that she grew up in an internet-dominated culture where generating original contents is (apparently) not even unusual, but virtually impossible. A "culture of sharing" this is called, then.

Excuse me,
but to claim that originality is impossible anyhow and only authenticity is what counts (if channeled through the right and most powerful media platforms, needless to add) and, thereby, to open up the door (and wide) for a very preoccupying practice "even" in the context of literature would probably be a good argument to dissuade anybody from publishing their thoughts on openly accessible platforms such as a blog AND, in a way, gradually lead to the extinction of a more demanding literary production...

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