The First Reading ‘The Ecstasy of Influence’ A plagiarism – A Tinkerbell Moment

https://harpers.org/archive/2007/02/the-ecstasy-of-influence/



Jonathan’s article “The Ecstasy of Influence’ is very compelling and succinct. I am intrigued by his arguments of originality vs. plagiarism, that all ideas are borrowed not taken, and that ones vision should not be plundered but can be taken and expanded.

I think that iconography of universally famous places and objects like the Effel Tower, Mount Rushmore, Big Ben, the Mona Lisa or a Disney character can be reproduced in all shapes and sizes, kitsch, pop art, key chains and soft pillows. This is not plagiarism, this is a celebration of the essence of the original idea.

A Tinkerbell Moment

I was walking towards the corner of St. Marks and 3rd Ave. last week and in front of me was young woman dressed in an exquisite Tinkerbell costume made with beautiful gold trimming and pearl white in color. She was so happy and comfortable and hanging with her friends. I immediately recognized who she was dressed as, even though out of context, as she just blended into the day.

I was coming home late last week on the Metro North with my wife and sitting across from us was a couple in their late fifties early sixties. They were well dressed and speaking happily and enjoying each others company like they have been married for many years. As we were getting off the train I noticed between them was a little gold statuary of Tinkerbell sitting on a wood base with an inscription. I ask him what it was for and he told me, proudly, that it was presented to him for fifty years working at Disney.

Iconographic symbols are a universal collective understanding of the original art and an extention of it. Often the saturation, even for profit, of an image gives new meaning to the original intent, or even more so, projects the original intent into our psyche.

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