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April 18, 2007

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callie

At Lethem's LA readings, he spoke at length about his latest copyright "project" and his desire to toy with the idea that his work should be used by other artists without those artists having to pay large copyright/licensing fees for the right to do so.

Of course, this assumes that artists will want to slash your work, which Lethem seems to feel is very likely with his own work. It takes a certain amount of moxy and ego to expect -- and court the idea -- that people will simply be chomping at the bit to extrapolate your work and its ideas.

I'm working on a piece I'll post later this week (or next) about his reading and this copyright issue. Interesting stuff, but also very full of ego. Also very interesting that his desire to give away the rights has only come about with his latest book, which one could argue (and many have) is his weakest. As I sat in the reading hearing him talk about this, I couldn't shake the feeling that he knows this book isn't his best work and this debate of who has artistic rights over an artist's work, while valid in itself, wasn't a thinly veiled stunt to garner more interest for a book that is soon to fall off the radar.

Jeff

Good points, Callie. I'm looking forward to reading your recap. And I do agree that this is definitely a weak Lethem novel. Very weak.

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