Pastiche and Defense


Pastiche & Defense: In a nutshell, a “pastiche” is a stylistic imitation of another text. You will, therefore, choose a passage or a definable structure in one of the works we are reading, (it must be in our textbook (look at last page for the work covered in this class) — don’t use the sample I use below) and write your own fragmentary or miniature version. This need not be longer than a page or two. Also, notice that in a sense you will “copy” the original, but since you are changing content and overall form, it is not at all “plagiarism.” You will have broad creative latitude in the design and direction of your pastiche.

A draft of the PD will not be necessary for a grade, as with the Bibliographic Essay. However, I will provide samples, and you can email me your draft for review.

I will not directly grade the Pastiche (imitation) itself (though it must be “sincerely attempted”). Instead, I will grade the accompanying Defense: a description of the process you followed, and of the outcome. Use these bullet points in developing your Defense (perhaps one paragraph per bullet point):

*              A detailed explanation of your choice for the primary text you have imitated

*              A definition of the particular elements you tried to imitate

*              A description of the creative process you followed

*              An account of the challenges you encountered, and how you dealt with them

*              Your own opinion of the resulting imitation

*              A summary of the resulting insights regarding the primary work, and creative effort in general

Put a page break (ctrl + Enter in MS Word) after your pastiche, then start the Defense on a new page. Put both in the same file. The Defense should be around 700 words, minimum.

Take a look at the sample Pastiche & Defense assignments I have provided. Most students should enjoy this assignment, and find it relatively essay; the ones who don’t get an A are those, generally, who don’t bother to write a sufficiently detailed Defense using the above bullet points. Give me more than the minimum, not less.

Name the file lastname_firstname_2.rtf.

Essentially, this is an exercise in analysis, but from a different angle. You need to identify specific formal and thematic characteristics of a text. But then, you will attempt to transfer a few of them to a text of your own creation.

Take a look at how Virgil “copies” from Homer, for starters. Also look at the lyric poems by Marlowe and Raleigh on pages 2046 – 47.


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