I enjoyed this passage and agreed with most of its arguments. Critics of plagiarism take it a step too far when they say that something simply reminding you of something else that had already been created is completely prohibited. The great artists and writers had to be influenced someway in order to come up with their ideas and styles. People do tend to enjoy the nostalgia that comes from these references and allusions. For example, when Lethem compares Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet to Leonard Bernstein’s West Side Story. If someone has an idea-any idea at all-odds are, someone else has already thought of it, and that’s okay! People are influenced by aspects of culture, society, and their environment every single day-both consciously and subconsciously. I’m not saying that originality is gone. Everyone has their own thoughts and ideas, but it’s very likely that they could have been affected by someone else’s words, actions, and creations. I am also not saying that it’s okay to completely plagiarize an exact idea or work. Don’t go out and copy and paste a paper to save time so you’ll be prepared for class. But do be influenced by the world around you and learn from the creators before you to be able to acquire your own style and originality!

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