Death of the Author


Over the years, there have been many re-creations of loved and admired narratives, but a common question has been posed which is whether these creations count as valid literature, whether they are creative endeavours in their own right, or whether they are derivative of their source material.

Firstly, it seems that any creation is valid, even if they are using themes or characters or plots that are seen in the original content. An example is that of the Twilight saga written by Stephanie Meyer which then inspired the fanfiction entitled Master of the Universe, which then also inspired the Fifty Shades of Grey trilogy written by E.L. James. Even though there are obvious similarities between all three of these such as the main characters having the same names in the Twilight saga and Master of the Universe, and also the main characters sharing characteristics, such as Bella in Twilight and Ana in Fifty Shades of Grey caring for their mothers when they seem to not be able to fully care for them, among many others. However, even though there are these similarities, the narrative and the aim of the narrative are different, which then makes the fanfiction and other creations valid forms of literature. Twilight, for example, is aimed at a younger audience and is centred around the concept of vampires and werewolves existing, whereas Fifty Shades of Grey is aimed at an older, more mature audience and centres around the intimate relationship and forms of dominance between a couple, which then separates Fifty Shades of Grey from the original Twilight.


Furthermore, this then does not make any other creation completely derivative of their source material in the sense of something being formed from something else – as I just stated, there are similarities and inspirations from an original content, but the new author takes the original content in another direction and so this new content then has different meanings. These are new creative endeavours that are valid forms of literature in their own right, that have their own purpose and different reasons for which something is done, created or why it exists. Again, using the example of Twilight, this may have had the purpose to portray the power of young love, whereas Fifty Shades of Grey may have the purpose of showing a seemingly disturbed man who finds pleasure in controlling others around him. This then indisputably means that examples of fanfiction or any other creations that are inspired by an original content are always valid forms of literature due to how they will have different purposes and different sense of meaning in their narratives and are then creative endeavours in their own right by them not being entirely derivative of the original content because they are not copying completely this original content but are just inspired by particular aspects of it. This then enables this new author to find their own unique voice to tell their own story, which arguably is one of the intrinsic and valuable parts of cinema in general.



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