Hic Sunt Dracones

the smylere with the knyf under the cloke

She Takes the Cake

with one comment

Shahrin (or should I say Dato’ Shahrin), your late dad (Ranhill Group Deputy Chief Executive Datuk Zahari) left one memorable yet cliché idiom as me and Rashid (now doing Ph.D in France) had an evening conversation while the rest of your family and friends seemed more interested with the Kelantanese dikir barat next room. This was in 2002, in Newcastle upon Tyne, UK. While you’re still studying in Northumbria University. And your age seem more youthful than the media stated 31 years old — since it would be ridiculous for a 20-ish UMNO lad to get a Dato’, innit?

“Jack of all trades, master of none”.

He said but he left out “though ofttimes better than master of one.” The latter seem to ring true with your wedded thespian. She seems to be the cultured type. A professional model, an aspiring actress and sadly a shady poet — suspected with plagiarism.

Jannah Raffali incites a crusade against the literature infidelity. Playing semantics with her name: Natasha McGough Hudson, Natasha Similar Hudson and Natasha Overboard Hudson. And three is enough: Fool Us Thrice, Shame On the Lies.

Sharon Bakar’s entry appears to be a hot bed for both detractor and (devil) advocate.

Sufian Abas (a.k.a. Irman Noor) would say anything to be the literati dawg:

Sufian said…

There might not be a concept of copyright, but surely by attributing the name of the writer to the work he/she produces is somewhat similar?

I mean, if authorship is not important, why not write as anon, then?

Ok, even if we assume that authorship is perhaps for patronage, wenches, ale or things that go bump in the night.

What if, say, for instance, I were to write an epic poem in terza rima about my alleged journey from hell to purgatory to heaven and say that it’s all me. Is that plagiarism?

And isn’t it a bit of a stretch for people now who proudly read the work of Shakespeare yet want Ms Hudson’s work to be taken off the shelf on account of plagiarism?

January 17, 2008 12:02 AM

And the retort:

Anonymous said…

Oh, dear. A little knowledge is a dangerous thing when it leads one to equate Natasha Hudson with Shakespeare and Dante Alighieri.

Yes, Shakespeare and Dante “plagiarised” in the sense that all creative artists at the time did — and in fact many of them *did* do so anonymously, because the concepts of the “author” and of “originality” were all but non-existent then. Poets, musicians, visual artists — they all not only consciously based their work on their predecessors’ work (often as homage), but also freely dipped into the communal font of stories/musical gestures/artistic subjects. Shakespeare and Chaucer and Dante and Milton weren’t inventing plots of their own, because that is not what writers did at the time. And they may even have reused exact phrasing here and there, but the reason we remember them and not all their contemporaries who were all also freely “plagiarising” each other is that they did it better — they took what was considered to be their raw material and made it something *better,* not patently worse.

If someone wants to say the same about Ms. Hudson (i.e. that her “poems” are better than the originals), they should certainly feel free to do so, and then I can laugh at them from this safe and fortunate distance.

In any case, Ms. Hudson’s superiority/inferiority to her sources is somewhat irrelevant, because in this day and age we *do* have the notions of authorship and originality and copyright and so on and so forth. To accuse Shakespeare and Dante of plagiarism is not analogous to the US lecturing people on human rights, however much satisfaction it might give one to throw in their cause-of-the-day into this argument — it’s more like accusing cavemen of adultery.

— Preeta

January 17, 2008 12:55 AM

And the usual oh-so witty riposte commenced. It’s getting weary after a while.

I’m off to Liyana Yusof’s Vox as she “do the Hudson”. It’s visceral and carnal as it sound with a hint of Sapphism (maybe). Ah, you’re so cute with the mistranslation *bites*.

What’s the furore ado?

Take a look at Natasha Hudson’s Puisi Indah Sri Pari-Pari:

i.

Kek Coklat
by Natasha Hudson

Saya mahu satu kehidupan,
Kamu mahu sesuatu yang lain,
Kita tidak dapat makan kek coklat,
Jadi kita makan sesama diri.

Cake
by Roger McGough

i wanted one life
you wanted another
we couldn’t have our cake
so we ate each other.

ii.

Si Kura-Kura Kecil
by Natasha Hudson

Ada seekor kura-kura kecil
tinggal di dalam kotak
berenang di tepi tasik
memanjat di atas batu

dia cuba menggigit nyamuk
dia cuba mengigit kutu
dia cuba menggigit berudu
dia cuba menggigit aku

dia berjaya menangkap nyamuk
dia berjaya menangkap kutu
dia berjaya menangkap berudu
tetapi dia tidak berjaya menangkap aku

The Little Turtle
by Vachel Lindsay

There was a little turtle.
He lived in a box.
He swam in a puddle.
He climbed on the rocks.

He snapped at a mosquito.
He snapped at a flea.
He snapped at a minnow.
And he snapped at me.

He caught the mosquito.
He caught the flea.
He caught the minnow.
But he didn’t catch me.

iii.

Mentega kuning, jelly ungu, jam merah, roti hitam
by Natasha Hudson

Mentega kuning, jelly ungu, jam merah, roti hitam
ratakan tebal
katakan cepat

ratakan tebal
katakan cepat

sekarang ulang
sambil kamu makan

sekarang ulang
sambil kamu makan

janganlah bercakap
bila mulut kamu penuh

Things We Like to Eat
by Mary Ann Hoberman

Yellow butter, purple jelly, red jam, black bread.
Spread it thick,
Say it quick.

Yellow butter, purple jelly, red jam, black bread
Spread it thicker,
Say it quicker.

Yellow butter, purple jelly, red jam, black bread
Now repeat it,
While you eat it.

Yellow butter, purple jelly, red jam, black bread
Don’t talk
With your mouth full!

There, ICANHAZPLAJIARIZMNAO?

+++

So what style do the illustration on her book like?

A Tim Burton imitation of Edward Gorey in The Melancholy Death of Oyster Boy and Other Stories. Shel Silverstein?

From the image caption, it does look like Roald Dahl favourite illustrator: Quentin Blake.

“I was so taken in by Tim Burton’s books and was thinking that it would be nice to have my book feature illustrations too. So I decided to have illustrations for my Malay book Puisi Indah Si Pari-Pari, which has 20 poems in it.”

[Source: The Star – Nice work, Natasha]

I bet you do.

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  1. […] I’m still in the spirit of “doing the Hudson” — re-Hudson or de-Hudson. Here’s a bite in the patois […]


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