There is a pretty fascinating exchange between Al Filreis and Kenneth Goldsmith on ‘originality’ in a digital context. This exchange stems from an original article (linked in this post) concerning a paper on Wallace Stevens for sale, apparently bearing at least more than a passing resemblence to material written by Filreis himself.
Particularly interesting to me:
The kernel of how we must teach today is embedded in your quandary. By reifying the old lines of “this is mine” and “this is not,” we perpetuate myths of originality. Was your research sprung completely from your own genius? Most likely not. You sourced it from dozens of places. What is original — and genius — is the way you wove those sources together. But isn’t that what good research always has been? It’s just that the digital makes this process transparent and eminently elastic in ways that were hidden before.