February 21, 2010

THE WRITE STUFF: ON BEHALF OF THE GERMAN LITERARY CULTURE, I SHALL NOW SUE ORSON SCOTT CARD, J.K. ROWLING AND STEPHENEY MEYER (AND I HAVE A PRETTY GOOD CASE, TOO)

J.K. Rowling is getting sued again. Of course, she is, she has made literally billions with her Harry Potter series, and obviously, she must have stolen all of her stuff from somewhere, because there is no way, I repeat, no fucking way that a poor woman in Edinburgh could have come up with something this good, something this commercially valuable.

To hell with the bitch! the other authors say, because I wrote it first!

Let me say it first, and let me say it loudly.

These authors are retards, and fit in the same category as the notorious Kayla Patterson of two posts back. Arrogance born out of ignorance. But hey, let's start with one of the first vocal idiots, prominent Mormon and gay hater (strange how religion and hatred always seems to go hand in hand) Orson Scott Card.

Uncle Orson Reviews Everything
J.K. Rowling, Lexicon and Oz
by Orson Scott Card

April 24, 2008
Can you believe that J.K. Rowling is suing a small publisher because she claims their 10,000-copy edition of The Harry Potter Lexicon, a book about Rowling's hugely successful novel series, is just a "rearrangement" of her own material.

Rowling "feels like her words were stolen," said lawyer Dan Shallman.

Well, heck, I feel like the plot of my novel Ender's Game was stolen by J.K. Rowling.

A young kid growing up in an oppressive family situation suddenly learns that he is one of a special class of children with special abilities, who are to be educated in a remote training facility where student life is dominated by an intense game played by teams flying in midair, at which this kid turns out to be exceptionally talented and a natural leader. He trains other kids in unauthorized extra sessions, which enrages his enemies, who attack him with the intention of killing him; but he is protected by his loyal, brilliant friends and gains strength from the love of some of his family members. He is given special guidance by an older man of legendary accomplishments who previously kept the enemy at bay. He goes on to become the crucial figure in a struggle against an unseen enemy who threatens the whole world.

This paragraph lists only the most prominent similarities between Ender's Game and the Harry Potter series. My book was published in England many years before Rowling began writing about Harry Potter. Rowling was known to be reading widely in speculative fiction during the era after the publication of my book.

I can get on the stand and cry, too, Ms. Rowling, and talk about feeling "personally violated."

The difference between us is that I actually make enough money from Ender's Game to be content, without having to try to punish other people whose creativity might have been inspired by something I wrote.
... he wrote, and if you like, you can read the rest here

Hey, retard. Yeah, Card, I'm talking to you. I know, I know... it must have been terribly difficult to sit through your high school years, and hell, why even bother to listen to something like literary history, if all you knew was that you create in a vacuum, and that nobody ever, nowhere, anywhere has come up with anything even remotely like your stuff, and since you were the first one to come up with it, anybody else must have cribbed it from you, right?

Because you are so special!

Maybe you should have read Brian W. Aldiss' Million Year Spree (and the updated version, Billion Year Spree with David Wingrove), but then again, god, special people don't need to know where things are coming from. They're special! In Million Year Spree, Brian Aldiss does a very good historical analysis of the SF genre, and while by no means inclusive, it is a good starting point for all things related to SF and Fantasy and to put it into its historical context. And it was written in 1973, so it's not like you couldn't have read it in your formative years.

But even if you didn't, there is something that predates SF by a bit, and who invented it? Hm? Who did? The Germans! It's called Bildungsroman, and if you haven't heard of it before (it must be so difficult to actually know things from your own fucking profession), it arose in Germany during the Age of Enlightment, and is defined thusly.

A bildungsroman (German pronunciation: [ˈbɪldʊŋs.roˌmaːn]; German: "novel of education") is a coming-of-age novel. It arose during the German Enlightenment. In it, the author presents the psychological, moral and social shaping of the personality of a character, usually the protagonist. The term Bildungsroman was coined by Johann Carl Simon Morgenstern.[1]
Incidentally, Morgenstern was referenced by whom? Hm? Hm? That's right, class, by William Goldman in the fictionalised author of The Princess Bride, S. Morgenstern (see how much fun knowledge can be?). But wait! It gets better!
To be categorized in the genre bildungsroman, the plot must follow a certain course. The protagonist grows from child to adult in the novel. At an early stage, a loss or some discontent pushes him or her away from the home or family setting, giving them a reason to embark on his or her journey.

The process of maturation is long, strenuous and gradual, involving repeated clashes between the protagonist's needs and desires and the views and judgments enforced by an unbending social order.

There are many other similar genres that focus on the growth of an individual. An entwicklungsroman is a story of general growth rather than self-culture. An erziehungsroman focuses on training and formal education and a künstlerroman is about the development of an artist and shows a growth of the self.

Many genres other than the bildungsroman can include elements of this genre as prominent parts of their story lines. For example, a military story might show a raw recruit receiving a baptism by fire and becoming a battle-hardened soldier, while a high-fantasy quest story may show a transformation from an adolescent protagonist into an adult who is aware of his or her lineage or powers.
Wait! Those last lines, they describe exactly Ender's Game and Harry Potter, do they not? Oh, and pretty much also Stpeheney Meyer's Twilight series (which I personally find abhorrent, but hey... if you like it, please do. If it makes you happy, please be happy)....

Well, Mr. Card, start forking over that fucking money now, because in the name of the German culture I lay claim on any and all novels/TV shows/movies that deal with Coming Of Age stories, because fucking inven... oh, wait, we didn't.

Not really. Coming Of Age stories and mythologies have been part of every society since, well, since forever, and while some of the elements change, some elements are adapted to reflect a certain time's moral and economic code, the stories themselves are mythical, they are in the best and the worst sense archetypical.

And to the retard laywers of Adrian Jacobs and their claim of Willy Wonka's Wizard, uh, The Adventures of Willy the Wizard is something that J.K. Rowling ripped off... the latest in the quest of robbing an author of money, I can blow up your case with two little things, and anybody with two neurons firing and some kind of historical understanding of the fantasy genre can do the same.

Two things. One word. And a date.

Rincewind. Introduced in 1983's The Colour of Magic by Terry Pratchett, the character of Rincewind and other wizards of Discworld precede your dead client's book by a full whopping four years! And it deals with a lot of the things that also Rowling's book deals with, albeit it in a different fashion. Why? Because it is archetypical!

I guess your client nicked his shit from that, eh?

Whoops! 

Or as Mr. Orson Scott Card would say, Ender's Game is the Alpha and the Omega, nothing ever happened before and nothing good ever happened after...right?

If I have been able to see farther than others, it was because I stood on the shoulders of giants, Sir Isaac Newton once said, and every author should take note of that simple sentence, because none of us are the alpha and the omega, all of us come from somewhere. There are ideas floating around that are determined by a set of parameters, contextual, technological and personal that make us write the things we write. Alan Moore called it The Idea Space, Carl Jung (long before Moore) defined it as the Collective Unconscious. It's where archetypes live and play, and sometimes, they play with us, the author, and we should be grateful for that.

And if we are lucky, we get to stand on the shoulders of giants and look further into the realm of understanding and truth than they did. Us lucky few. And some may hit the right moment, some may become famous and rich, and if they have done their job well, if they have given the audience something that is good and worthwhile and memorable, then they have deserved it.

And if you have still a problem with this, then look up there. I will sue your asses off, in the names of Goethe and Schiller and Thomas Mann and Klaus Mann and every other fucking German author who came before you, and who was better, both intellectually and technically, than you ever were, and if you don't believe it, read Der Zauberberg or Faustus in the original German. Oh, you can't? Oh, too bad.

And by your own definition, I would win each and every one of those court cases.

And again, like with Miss Kayla Patterson and her email two posts back, I can only conclude with this...

... it's your right to be stupid.

But at least be stupid in silence.