Thursday, December 21, 2006
What IS the line between inspiration and unoriginality? A book or idea can inspire you. You can come up with a 'clever' idea based on an old premise...a new twist you hope. One of my all time favourite authors is Sheri S. Tepper. I really cannot say enough about this woman's work. Her novels are gripping, thought provoking and compelling. She wants you to think. She wants you to read between the lines. One of her novels...that I haven't re read in a long time, so bear with me, is Beauty. Tepper herself implies 'inspiration' in the Authors Note: "It seems to me sometimes that all beauty is dying. Which makes me hope that perhaps it isn't dead but only sleeping. And that makes me think of Sleeping Beauty and wonder if she, Beauty that is, might not be a metaphor for what is happening to the world at large" perfect Beauty born, Beauty cursed with death, Beauty dying - but with the magical hope of being reawakeneded, maybe by love. The result of all this is Beauty, a novel of the human spirit, a book-length faery tale, a meditation on various questions of religion - or maybe just a prayer." Al Gore would be proud! But...so is it ok for an author to 'use' a faery tale for her or his own purposes? To twist it, tweak it, make it their own? I honestly don't know how original you can be with fantasy or sci fi for that matter. But if you use old ideas in a new way...is that not ok? And as far as Tepper goes. Her sci fi books are great. Raising the Stones was the first one I read and it was incredible....a new take on Invasion of the Body Snatchers really. The Family Tree is about a traditional quest but with a twist. A Plague of Angels introduces us to an Earth changed, and a place where Archetypes exist..but to what purpose? Many of her books have a feminist slant. But not in your face. She uses her stories to show a different perspective on today's issues. I highly recommend her books to all.