Blogs » Pop Goes the Culture » Plagiarism is the new creativity


Today in "Writers That Make The Rest Of Us Look Bad" news, we have a young German novelist accused of plagiarism and (here's the best part), she's defending herself with the good, 'ol-fashioned "Meh. What's the big deal?" defense.

Yes, 17-year-old Helene Hegemann is defending herself against accusations of plagiarism by saying she doesn't see the text she copied from another book into her book as "stealing," per se.

According to (See that, Helene? That's what we call "attribution"), Helene is quoted as saying, "I myself don't feel it is stealing, because I put all the material into a completely different and unique context and from the outset consistently promoted the fact that none of that is actually by me."

Better yet, Helene is also saying that she's just representative of a new era of Gen Y writers, according to

Helene is accused of stealing as much as a full page of text from another novel, "Strobo." Despite this, or perhaps because of this, Helene's book, ""Axolotl Roadkill" is selling better than ever and has been nominated for a large fiction prize.

While I come from the old school world of writing and journalism in which plagiarism is the biggest sin you can possibly commit (even above murdering an editor), I'm curious what other young writers, or writers of any age think about this Fraulein's assumption we're all a bunch of copycats.

Should we start gathering the pitchforks and torches or does Helene have a point?

P.S. If we do go the mob route, I got dibs on a torch.