Pauline Urbahns 614-593-8894 (URBAHNS@OUVAXA.CATS.OHIOU.EDU)
Wed, 16 Oct 1996 15:16:25 -0400

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Date: Wed, 16 Oct 1996 15:00:46 EDT
Subject: imitation
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Hello Everyone,
I'm new to Rhetnet, and I don't feel ready to add to any of the
serious issues raised. However, I think I can add a constructive comment on
the following:

Steve Krause wrote: "Ha! You mean like all the fiction writers in the
workshops I was in who tried to imitate Hemingway and Carver? Seems like
imitation is always a kind of flattery, and it seems to me that every
profession (academic or otherwise) has its Big Hitters that are frequently
imitated (usually badly)."

In The Book of the Courtier (by Gastigione, I think), a difference is made
between imitation as a learning activity (imitating proper speech for
example) and imitating a fault (such as a speech impediment). The point
being that one should imitate an admired figure by imitating the quality you
admire that person for and not by imitating an accidental quality they may
also possess. Writers should imitate writing styles perhaps, but not
turtleneck sweaters and pipe smoking.

Pauline Urbahns
Graduate Sudent
Comparative Arts
Ohio University

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