FROM IMITATION TO PLAGIARISM. RESEARCH ON THE LITERARY ETHICS IN 18TH-CENTURY RUSSIA
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In the literary and paraliterary texts by Russian authors of the latter half of the 18th century the problem of literary stealing, not revealed in the texts of the previous periods, was noticed. The theory of imitation, considered to be the basic rule of literary composition since the beginning of old-Russian literature, encouraged the authors to use borrowings and to copy the models. The situation changed in the 18th century when the Russian authors familiarised themselves with West-European theoretical works referring to the problem of imitation and the borderline between creative use of a literary model and literary stealing. This changed also the relation to literary work which was treated then as an author's property. Violation of the authorship provoked emotional reactions of the literary milieu. Numerous writers' opinions related to literary stealing demonstrate the increasing consciousness of authors and the need to regulate copyright and related laws.
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