The New Yorker, National Post, Chronicle and Erik Davis on In Praise of Copying

Several thoughtful early responses to In Praise of Copying….

The first is an excellent blog post by Jenny Hendrix for The New Yorker concerning my Borgesian Brooklyn book launch and how to handle the universality of copying, in the bookstore and elsewhere.

The second is the audio of an hour long radio conversation I had with Erik Davis and Maja D’Aoust on their Expanding Mind show on the Progressive Radio Network.  Erik was his usual brilliant self, and we covered everything from compassion for viruses, to cumbia, to the struggle to understand what sameness means.  A great pleasure to chat with these guys.

The third is a piece in the National Post by Adam McDowell entitled, “Copying, A Right“, which looks at my book and other recent attempts to figure out how to balance an expanded right to copy with restrictions that support artists and other copyright holders.  I do want to note that the conversation at the launch described at the end of the piece actually ended with a monologue by yours truly on the broader crisis of the workplace today, for artists, factory workers and everybody else, to which my questioner responded “that’s a good answer!” But this is generally a very astute look at a problem that we’re still barely able to even articulate.

Finally, a great piece in the Chronicle of Higher Education, discussing In Praise of Copying along with Lewis Hyde’s Common As Air, and the notion that books are always copies of other books.


  1. Michael P. Cohen says

    Did you ever read Herman Melville’s “Bartleby, the Scrivener: A Story of Wall-street”?


  2. Great! Fantastic! I’ve just heard about your book through an tweet that appeared on my daily auto-tweeted link aggregator so I get to then to and then here, where I want to say thanks, and phew! another book i don’t have to write myself but just copy instead, never heard of … anyway see my meditations on similar topic (which must be part of the zeitgeist, late 2010.)

  3. I didn’t get far in your book. It just doesn’t seem to prove such a fruitful undertaking to use eastern philosophy to clarify something which has already been studied to a high degree by a whole array of French and German philosophers – who remain within the scope of English semantics! – Most elaborately by a Belgian philosopher (a Heidegger specialist who also read the French postmodernists): Samuel IJsseling, in his excellent essay Mimesis: Appearing and Being. !! It seems to be a bit overpriced though…

    • I don’t know the Ijsseling book, but thanks, I’m down for anything with the words “mimesis”, “appearing” and “Being” in the title. Maybe you should carry on reading my book tho … I don’t think the fact that many “French and German philosophers” have written on the topic indicates that the case on mimesis is closed. And Heidegger, as we now know from Reinhard May’s Heidegger’s Hidden Sources, was not averse to appropriating from “eastern philosophy” even if he didn’t always get it right.