Thursday, March 25, 2010

Mashups: Redux

A woman just bought two coffees from our coffee machine at the library. She then mixed them together to create a new flavor. "Mashups" like this are not uncommon; I remember mixing all of the flavors of soda at the skating rink up into a "tornado". And our 2.0 culture does the same thing: think Glee's "Ballad" (The Police and Gary Puckett, featured on Glee, the music. Volume 2 or the Green Day/Oasis mashup that you can still sometimes hear on KDGE.

There are many book remixes getting attention these days. Check out our post yesterday on the subject. But a new non-fiction book caught my eye that is a mashup of different authors to create an essay on what is real. Reality Hunger: a manifesto by David Shields mixes such various sources as Darwin, Philip Roth, John Hodgeman, and an anonymous White House aid during Bush 43's presidency. This can make the book feel disjointed, but that perhaps is Shield's point: the line between what is "real" literature and art is changing in our world where everyone has access to so much information. I'm looking forward to browsing through this book and gleaning wisdom from it, especially since he is
...trying to regain a freedom that writers from Montaigne to Burroughs took for granted and that we have lost... A major focus of Reality Hunger is appropriation and plagiarism and what these terms mean. I can hardly treat the topic deeply without engaging in it. That would be like writing a book about lying and not being permitted to lie in it...Who owns the words? Who owns the music and the rest of our culture? We do--all of us--though not all of us know it yet. Reality cannot be copyrighted.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Wow! What a great post! (MD)