September 29th, 2009 / 9:26 pm
Blind Items

Conceptual Plagiarism

What if someone made a book by plagiarizing the newspaper; then six years later someone came along and made a book by plagiarizing that first plagiarism? Answer:

Day by Kenneth Goldsmith (The Figures, 2003)
From the “Author”:

“I am spending my 39th year practicing uncreativity. On Friday, September 1, 2000, I began retyping the day’s NEW YORK TIMES word for word, letter for letter, from the upper left hand corner to the lower right hand corner, page by page.” With these words, Kenneth Goldsmith embarked upon a project which he termed “uncreative writing”, that is: uncreativity as a constraint-based process; uncreativity as a creative practice. By typing page upon page, making no distinction between article, editorial and advertisement, disregarding all typographic and graphical treatments, Goldsmith levels the daily newspaper. DAY is a monument to the ephemeral, comprised of yesterday’s news, a fleeting moment concretized, captured, then reframed into the discourse of literature. “When I reach 40, I hope to have cleansed myself of all creativity.”

Day by Kent John­son (BlazeVox, 2009)

From the “Author”:

What he said.

Tags: ,

35 Comments

  1. Adam R

      I like Kent Johnson’s work a lot. I think.

  2. Adam R

      I like Kent Johnson’s work a lot. I think.

  3. Ross Brighton

      congrats Kent!

  4. Ross Brighton

      congrats Kent!

  5. Ogawa

      These two bozos deserve each other.

      Is there really nothing else these companies could be publishing?

  6. Ogawa

      These two bozos deserve each other.

      Is there really nothing else these companies could be publishing?

  7. Michael

      It reminds me of that Borges story.

  8. Michael

      It reminds me of that Borges story.

  9. Bites: Beast Books, Nick Honrby, Zeitoun haikus, Palin’s ghostwriter, and more «

      […] As if waking up isn’t a pain in the ass enough, I have to wake up to this question via HTML Giant:  “What if someone made a book by plagiarizing the newspaper; then six years later someone came along a…“ […]

  10. james yeh

      i’m kind of into this and yet also kind of totally not going to buy it

  11. james yeh

      i’m kind of into this and yet also kind of totally not going to buy it

  12. Schulyer Prinz

      perfect.
      Absolutely fucking perfect.
      Someone give me some money to buy it with please. I want to make the editions fight each other (Godzilla versus Mothra)

  13. Schulyer Prinz

      perfect.
      Absolutely fucking perfect.
      Someone give me some money to buy it with please. I want to make the editions fight each other (Godzilla versus Mothra)

  14. davidpeak

      from the blazeVOX site:

      “All copies come with specially designed, affixed stickers (on cover, back cover, title page, spine, etc.) to impart authorship, copyright, blurbs, and co-production.”

      That’s rich.

  15. davidpeak

      from the blazeVOX site:

      “All copies come with specially designed, affixed stickers (on cover, back cover, title page, spine, etc.) to impart authorship, copyright, blurbs, and co-production.”

      That’s rich.

  16. alan

      I like Kent Johnson’s work a lot. I think.

  17. alan

      I like Kent Johnson’s work a lot. I think.

  18. Milk and Cookies

      Goldsmith asked for this. I did like Sports, though, but that’s only because I like listening to sports talk radio on my transistor radio every night in bed while I try and will myself away from sleep, because you never know, tonight could be the night you go to sleep and never wake up. A think a healthy dose of infinite regress is in order here, with Goldsmith’s next book being Kent Johnson’s Day by Kennth Goldsmith, followed by Kenneth Goldsmith’s Kent Johnson’s Day by Kent Johnson, and so on, until these two jokers have painted themselves into a conceptual corner so tight that the only means of escape is death. On a lighter note, I’ve been waiting for years for someone to re-type Catcher in the Rye and slap their name on it, calling it J.D. Salinger’s Catcher in the Rye by [Your Name Here]. Or maybe someone can re-type Catcher with one change: turn it into a close third person and change the main character’s name to Mark David Chapman. That would be fun. Probably have to wait till that old coot kicks, though. He’s more litigous than a Milton Katselas acting class.

  19. Milk and Cookies

      Goldsmith asked for this. I did like Sports, though, but that’s only because I like listening to sports talk radio on my transistor radio every night in bed while I try and will myself away from sleep, because you never know, tonight could be the night you go to sleep and never wake up. A think a healthy dose of infinite regress is in order here, with Goldsmith’s next book being Kent Johnson’s Day by Kennth Goldsmith, followed by Kenneth Goldsmith’s Kent Johnson’s Day by Kent Johnson, and so on, until these two jokers have painted themselves into a conceptual corner so tight that the only means of escape is death. On a lighter note, I’ve been waiting for years for someone to re-type Catcher in the Rye and slap their name on it, calling it J.D. Salinger’s Catcher in the Rye by [Your Name Here]. Or maybe someone can re-type Catcher with one change: turn it into a close third person and change the main character’s name to Mark David Chapman. That would be fun. Probably have to wait till that old coot kicks, though. He’s more litigous than a Milton Katselas acting class.

  20. john sakkis

      wow. rad.

  21. john sakkis

      wow. rad.

  22. aL
  23. aL
  24. Bobby

      You can check out Kent’s original post on this at digital emuction. He’s been blogging up a storm (heh) for us there recently, so check his other posts, too.

  25. Bobby

      You can check out Kent’s original post on this at digital emuction. He’s been blogging up a storm (heh) for us there recently, so check his other posts, too.

  26. Aaron
  27. Aaron
  28. Bobby

      Well, I’d submit that if you read “Pierre Menard” as a satire, you’re missing the point of the story entirely, which has nothing to do with Kent’s point, and (meta alert) everything to do with the fact that the exact same thing—book, conceptual gesture—can mean different things in different contexts. I.e., it’s a parable about reading.

  29. Bobby

      Well, I’d submit that if you read “Pierre Menard” as a satire, you’re missing the point of the story entirely, which has nothing to do with Kent’s point, and (meta alert) everything to do with the fact that the exact same thing—book, conceptual gesture—can mean different things in different contexts. I.e., it’s a parable about reading.

  30. Joseph

      Gross.

  31. Joseph

      Gross.

  32. EC

      Well, I’ve read them both and I have to say I prefer Kent’s.

  33. EC

      Well, I’ve read them both and I have to say I prefer Kent’s.

  34. lame

      youre an idiot

  35. lame

      youre an idiot