Providing the intellect for intellectual writing

In Chapter two of Harris’ Rewriting: How to Do Things with Texts, he suggests four moves: illustrating, authorizing, borrowing, and extending. I decided to focus on the concepts of borrowing and extending  . On page 46 Harris states, “This quick tactical use of other texts is one of the key moves of intellectual writing… (Potsman) simply has to be clear about where the concept comes from and what he wants to do with it.” Harris alludes to Plato who was primarily concerned that writing would eventually become filled with pieces from “here and there” and in turn the hard work of some may fall into the hands who are unappreciative and not deserving. Harris explains there is also another side to this argument –> the liberal side . This side (Harris elaborates), desires full access to the materials and work of society, in hope of having the opportunity to rework and reshape past work into something with a new “purpose.” This concept of borrowing   to me is so outrageously unappreciated. Unfortunately, I think as a society we have become so lazy to put in the time and effort into creating something new, that we feel it is simply normal to just take the work of another and add your spin to make it “different”. Harris describes the impact of extending is just as frequently used. In fact, Harris explains, “writing tends to become more exciting as it moves outward” – but what does he mean by that? I have interpreted Harris (as well as Plato’s) thoughts, and determine that because of the resources available to us- we may never be entirely original any more. However, that should not stop us from trying! For example, the novel A Million Little Pieces by James Frey is a story of a man faced with addiction and a series of events that would leave any individual hopeless. Highly acclaimed for his adept way of telling one of the most delicate stories, Frey was praised by many –> including . When you have a support system that includes one of the most influential women on this planet, you should prepare yourself for the luxurious life you are about to reap. No one would have imagined the direction Frey’s world would turn when an article published by “The Smoking Gun”, titled “A Million Little Lies,” would reveal the fiction Frey’s story would entail. He claims he simply elaborated on the stories of his life that caused him harm and pain and found ideas from other scenarios he had heard or read to make it “like nothing you’ve ever read before.” As a class, I would like to know if you guys agree with what Frey did…is he allowed to do this to his audience, did he create a false image as an author? His work is technically not plagiarized, but in your sense is it?


1 thought on “Providing the intellect for intellectual writing

  1. Frey is a liar. The simple truth is his book was published as a memoir and the information he wrote were lies. I don’t care that he made stuff up, but the fact is he published the book as a memoir makes his work as a whole plagiarized.

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