Monday, August 17, 2009

Sequels by somebody else

The recent case about the "sequel" to The Catcher in the Rye started a lot of talk about intellectual property at a lot of different levels. Charles McGrath's NY Times article is a good summary of what happens when, and why we sometimes do want to see our favorite characters brought to new life.

CM: The urge to write sequels and prequels is almost always an homage of sorts. We don’t want more of books we hate. The books that get re-written and re-imagined are beloved. We don’t want them ever to be over. We pay them the great compliment of imagining that they’re almost real: that there must be more to the story, and that characters we know so well — Elizabeth Bennet, for one, or Sherlock Holmes, who has probably inspired more sequels than any other fictional being — must have more to their lives... More.

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