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View Diary: A Kossack's Guide to Book Publishing - part 12 [updated] (30 comments)

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  •  My brilliant idea! (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    KMc, Swordsmith

    I once had a great idea for a TV program: It would debunk common nonsense, and I even had a name for it: BS.

    And then I found out Penn and Teller had a program that did just that, and they even named it "Bullshit."

    Did they steal it from me? Not unless they had a time machine, because their program was around before I thought of it.

    So I agree that ideas per se are pretty much common property.

    An interesting side thread: How some ideas are gold.

    Take Edgar Rice Burroughs and Tarzan. Burroughs was a LOUSY writer, but the idea was so great, it overcame his total lack of talent.

    A much more talented writer, Arthur Conan Doyle, came up with Sherlock Holmes, and created an immortal character.

    And everything else Doyle wrote, sank into oblivion.

    I don't know where to go with that thread. I just think it's interesting.

    •  Actually, I love Burroughs (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      KMc, daulton

      Early Burroughs, anyway. The World War II propaganda Tarzan novels were kinda lame. Burroughs looks a whole lot better when you read his contemporaries, and look at a lot of the conventions of the time. (Although he still has things in the books that are laugh-out-loud funny.) He had a memorable character, and books filled with violence, sex, larger-than-life heroes, and giant apes... what else is there?

      He came along with a great idea at exactly the right time, and got really lucky in its treatment (the Weissmuller and Maureen O'Hara films and many other things that broke just right to make the character a pop-culture icon).

      Economic -5.00 Social -5.49

      by Swordsmith on Fri Sep 22, 2006 at 10:26:39 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

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