Sunday, January 20, 2008

A Report to an Academy . . . by Gary Freedman

HONORED MEMBERS of the Academy!

You have done me the honor of inviting me to give your Academy an account of the life I formerly led as an undiscovered plagiarist.

What I am here to defend today is a practice that I believe can be a creative tool in extenuating situations.

Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery. Sometimes you may find that your own words, however powerful they may sound, just simply aren't enough to describe a joyous or sorrowful event. You may have been pressed for time, or worse -- untalented. But considering your own work woefully inadequate should not diminish your capacity to appreciate and celebrate others' works. At times like these, passages you have read someplace that otherwise would remain relegated to an existence in mediocre obscurity, may be used to convey the most apt sentiment for the moment. But what are you to do when slight paraphrasing, or interspersing remarks that clothe in the surrounding 'plagiarized' verse are in order? Are you to destroy the harmony of prose by intermittently warning the reader he is reading unoriginal material?

I believe that the moment you have strung together words and phrases to convey something, you've breathed life into it. It lives, and with the passing of the ages, dies. Communist and Confederate writings, for instance, are deceased, as are most of their authors. Alternatively, subject material the words seek to expound upon may dictate their age. If they are joyous words, they will prance and pirouette to a happy tune in youthful vigor. If they are somber, cheerless and basically dead, they will inhabit a special compartment for those from which may borrow.

In this case in point, you would do well to note that nowhere do I claim the passages are my own, indeed, nor do I make mention of my references. I will admit I did consider citing my sources, if not for the reasons I mention, I figured at least for my readers' own reference. But upon further rumination, and on poring over my writings, I concluded that the special charm of my writings lay in my ability to evoke powerful emotions through a controlled use of words -- my own and others.

Sometimes the reader senses restraint, other times raw force, and yet again at times the reader feels robbed of climactic denouement. How often have you held back from orgasming after a protracted session, picked yourself up as if you were doing nothing and return to reading the morning paper? It is not easy, and certainly what no man would voluntarily want to do. However, if there was something -- someone, who can wield that kind of influence over you or control your thoughts in a park ride of emotions, through the mere use of words, you know you've met a powerful keeper.

I attempt to be that keeper, the keeper at the gates of wordsmith-heaven -- a place where millions of souls float about. Each of those souls encapsulate a body of work, which is art that would die from disuse. I seek to show in "My Daily Struggles" that these works permeate the ether and pierce through astral planes or spiritual dimensions to become available to us as tools.

On the whole, at any rate, I have achieved what I set out to achieve. But do not tell me that it was not worth the trouble. In any case, I am not appealing for any man's verdict, I am only imparting knowledge, I am only making a report. To you also, honored Members of the Academy, I have only made a report.

1 comment:

Shiv said...

holy shit!

LOL --

look! gary's ALSO got a sense of humor!!