Orig­i­nal­ity is lack­ing in our cre­ative works

Daily Nation (Kenya) - - WEEKEND - BY FRANKLIN MUKEMBU

No work of art can be in­de­pen­dent with­out an el­e­ment of in­ter­tex­tu­al­ity. This is ac­cord­ing to the Greek philoso­pher Plato. How­ever, this does not war­rant an au­thor lift­ing al­most ev­ery el­e­ment — from char­ac­ters, themes, plot and even style — such that one can tell from which ear­lier text the work has been drawn. I be­lieve in orig­i­nal­ity and cre­ativ­ity. I be­lieve ev­ery writer must read widely, in­ten­sively and ex­ten­sively. This way, the mind opens up to give way to cre­ativ­ity. No one writes from a vac­uum. There is no harm in an au­thor be­ing in­flu­enced by other peo­ples’ works, but one’s cre­ativ­ity must show through. Lack of cre­ativ­ity makes one’s work flat. Ev­ery se­ri­ous writ­ing is pre­ceded by thor­ough re­search. Orig­i­nal­ity is a key el­e­ment in lit­er­a­ture. Writ­ers should take time to cre­ate their own unique style of writ­ing.

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