Racy Teen Bestseller Lifts Whole Pages From Blogger

17-year-old writer says there's no such thing as originality
By Emily Rauhala,  Newser User
Posted Feb 19, 2010 5:53 AM CST
Helen Hegemann doesn't deny using passages by other writers. She calls it 'intertextual mixing,' not copying.   (Shutter Stock)
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(Newser) – The 17-year-old author of a critically acclaimed novel about sex and drugs in Berlin's techno scene is drawing fire for allegedly copying large chunks of a blogger's work. The blogger, who goes by Airen, says author Helene Hegemann lifted "entire passages" from his book, Strobo, for her work, Axolotl Roadkill. Hegemann, the daughter of a German theater professor, doesn't deny it. Her rep calls it "intertextual mixing." Her critics call it cheating.

"I cannot understand what all the fuss is about," Hegemann tells the Independent. "There is no such thing as originality anyway, there is just authenticity." Axolotl Roadkill even contains a passage where characters discuss using material written by a blogger. "Who cares where I get it from?" the character asks. "All that matters is what I do." Still, the book's fourth edition will be published with a list of all "sources" Hegemann used, reps say.

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