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Plagiarism is such a harsh term
am 28. Dezember 2000
Does one accuse Michael Almereyda of plagiarizing Shakespeare? Hardly. Granted, there IS a difference of re-staging a play (even if it is as overdone as Hamlet) and re-writing a book. But is Stephen Fry in fact re-writing Dumas' "The Count of Monte Christo"? I think not. "The Stars' Tennis Balls" is not plagiarism, it is an adaption, and homage even. It is a compelling story re-staged or even re-thought with extreme precision (one can just see Edmond Dantes standing next to Ned Maddstone; both madly muttering the names of their enemies) and yet passion in a modern context. It is not at all like a Brannaghesque Shakespeare adaption lacking the 'balls' to derive something new from an old story, for this is exactly what Stephen Fry achieves: An 'old' story brought back to life, back to relevance for Generation@. Surely, Monsieur Dumas would be applauding in his grave as was I at times when reading this book. In Short, "The Stars' Tennis Balls" is not the greatest Fry ever, for as good an adaption as it maybe be, there is still less of Fry's originality in this than in his prior works. However, it is definitely a very compelling read and while it may not entirely be his 'own' story, it is - as always - his unique use of language, which is in itself a reason to buy literally every book Mr Fry does us the favor of writing.