Paratextual and "sampladelic" techniques for "committing centonism" in contemporary poetry published in Canada
McCutcheon, Mark A.
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This chapter attempts to model a twofold method for reading centos ‒- poems composed wholly of excerpts from other works -‒ in relation to intellectual property (IP) law, in the context of contemporary poetry published in Canada. The method proceeds by inference, in the reading of published poetry’s paratextual matter, and by analogy, in the relating of cento-writing technique to DJ technics of mixing and sampling recorded music. This chapter’s form also tries to model its proposed method, in that a plethora of sometimes extensive quotations composes a fair deal of the argument that follows (in this, I adopt a practice of re-mixing one’s own work that is also found in contemporary poetry). This proposed interpretive approach illuminates how contemporary cento production navigates copyright law and suggests how an understanding of DJ practice enriches the reception and criticism of centos and related found-poetry forms and techniques. Moreover, this interpretive approach shows how authors and publishers need the users’ rights afforded under Canadian copyright law no less than users and consumers do.
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