Since the 1960s, writers have radically challenged the notion of originality and creativity in literature. They stopped writing new texts for their books and instead drew upon pre-existing books: canonical texts of world literature or intellectual history are transcribed by hand, edited, altered, alphabetically arranged or simply copied and republished under one’s own name. By now Appropriation Literature amounts to a critical mass that has generated its own tradition. The present anthology is the first to give an international overview of the phenomenon, presenting 126 books and projects by over 90 authors.
Annette Gilbert is a scholar in comparative literature at the Freie Universitaet Berlin and postdoctoral research fellow of the Volkswagen Foundation. Her main areas of research are experimental and avant-garde literature and art, materiality and mediality of literature, artists’ books, and interart studies.