5.06.2008

Nonsense

The usual shame belongs to me for having not checked my email in a week. What's a girl with five email addresses, two blogspots, a Facebook, a Xanga, and a Myspace to do? Stop signing up for so many accounts, I guess :-)

Anyway, Chris sent me this link a week ago, because I happen to be very fond of both of these authors. And frankly, I thought what Orson Scott Card had to say about J.K. Rowling was both presumptuous and nasty. Presumably he's being facetious about the comparisons between Ender's Game and Harry Potter; both derive from the same standard, widely used situational plot formula based on archetypes, etc. That formula is no more original to Card than it is to Rowling, but her interpretation of it is every bit as original as his.

As to the suit by Stouffer, it's utterly ridiculous to think that the woman capable of structuring an incredibly thick, layered story based on literary alchemy (like that used by C.S. Lewis in the Space Trilogy), with character names more carefully and creatively linked to the story than any I've ever seen in fiction, ripped off a word and part of a name. It didn't happen. If nothing else, I know enough about the writer's consciousness to understand that sometimes there is no knowing whether or not the names and concepts being used are drawn from things heard of in the past or from thin air--although to be totally fair, accidental plagiarism is just as punishable by law as the intentional sort.

I don't know enough about copyright law to know how much of The Harry Potter Lexicon actually breaks the fair use laws, nor whether it actually does. But I wonder to whom Card has been listening. Melissa Anelli from The Leaky Cauldron said the other day that as a journalist, she is completely frustrated by media coverage of the Rowling/Warner Bros. suit against RDR Books. She says that every time she sees the headline "J.K. Rowling Sues Fan", she knows that person has never read a court document from the case, because they wouldn't find Steve Vander Ark's name there.

People listen to the news because they have to, I guess. I, however, have decided that the most generally accurate part of the daily news reports is the weather forecast. But that's a rant for another night.

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