There is a thin line between "inspiration" and "copying" in the art world. The 90s kids think Lady Gaga is revolutionary in pop culture, while many of Madonna's die-hard fans think instead of being born that way she is nothing but a copycat. The debate continues.
Here in Bangkok, the "inspiration versus plagiarism" debate is heating up in the literary scene, following the announcement of this year's SEA Write award, the country's most coveted book prize. Kon Krae (The Dwarf), a dark novel that deeply studies human relationships by Phatthalung writer Wipas Srithong was named the winner (see front page interview).
No, it wasn't the winning book that caused controversy, but during the press conference of the announcement, a member of the audience questioned the committee on whether he deserved to receive such a respected award, when four years ago a group of literary critics found a similarity between Wipas's short story W.S.6 Sept and Peter Carey's Peeling.
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