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Illegal LiteratureToward a Disruptive Creativity$
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David S. Roh

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780816695751

Published to Minnesota Scholarship Online: September 2016

DOI: 10.5749/minnesota/9780816695751.001.0001

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Dead Authors, Copyright Law, and Parodic Fictions

Dead Authors, Copyright Law, and Parodic Fictions

(p.26) 1 Dead Authors, Copyright Law, and Parodic Fictions
Illegal Literature

David S. Roh

University of Minnesota Press

In chapter 1, Roh explores how copyright law regulates dialogic activity to weaken disruptive textuality and analyze the relationship between intellectual property rights and American literature in two recent copyright disputes: Alice Randall’s The Wind Done Gone (a parody of Margaret Mitchell’s Gone with the Wind) and Pia Pera’s Lo’s Diary (a novelistic response to Vladimir Nabokov’s Lolita). Feeling that they held the right to cultural commentary, Randall and Pera attempted to exercise that right against the wishes of the author estates. The Nabokov and Mitchell estates both sued for copyright infringement, with the books eventually reaching publication after contentious public and legal debate. This chapter shows how the extralegal forum grants refuge to subcultural voices and examines how the participants’ literary reading of the cases affected their legal outcomes. I suggest that the tension between extralegal and canonical texts—the original or copyrighted texts—spurs literary development.

Keywords:   Copyright, Law, Literature, Alice Randall, The Wind Done Gone, Margaret Mitchell, Pia Pera, Lo’s Diary, Vladimir Nabokov, Canonical texts

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