I’m a Shameless Plagiarist

But it’s all good

Joseph Yossarian
ILLUMINATION

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A portable manual typewriter on a wooden table as seen from above
All my own work, Nearly (Photo by Bernard Hermant on Unsplash)

I’d better explain that attention-grabbing headline because plagiarists are universally frowned upon within writing circles, and rightly so. By way of a disclaimer, everything I post begins as an idea in my mind, which I pump down my sleeves to my fingertips and via those onto a screen. I never steal the work of others.

So, to what do I allude in the title of this piece?

I like to give nods of recognition to writers I admire by dropping in references to their works by borrowing names they have used. I believe that in modern parlance the term for this sort of thing is Easter eggs, those being hidden surprises. I dare say most will go unnoticed by readers, but some may pick up on the references, and, what the heck, I enjoy planting them. Here are some examples to explain.

In one short story, I had the protagonist accidentally burn his host’s carpet with a hot iron. Not having the funds for a proper repair, he bought a book from a charity shop large enough to cover the burn and on a subject so dull no one would ever pick it up, so the scorch would remain hidden forever. But what would be the title of such a book?

Step up to the plate, PG Wodehouse.

In the story Jeeves Takes Charge, Bertie Wooster is engaged to Florence Craye, who is, Bertie…

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Joseph Yossarian
ILLUMINATION

Freelance writer and blogger from the north-east coast of England, specialising in true crime, childhood memories and whatever takes my fancy.