copyright

Sep 09 2012

John was an accountant. he ordered the photocopier in the mail. which was really just his way of saying that he ordered it on the internet, because he was uncomfortable with technology. he didn’t like saying that he bought something on the internet, so if he ever did, he just told people that he ordered it in the mail.

but the photocopier wasn’t something he told people about. at first he didn’t mention it because the acquisition of a photocopier is not generally considered as any truly remarkable event, but before long the machine became a particular secret. he had tried to use it to photocopy some figures he was working on, but the reproduction was all wrong and completely different, as though from another reality. so he tried out a copy of some modernist canonical literary text that had found its way to his shelves (let’s say it was something by virginia woolf, or maybe patrick white – it doesn’t matter what exactly, because John hadn’t read it), and it came out like a completely new book. as great as that work with its pages pressed up against the glass, and sharing certain of its qualities, but not that work – a entirely different, other book, that our world had never seen before.

John’s first publication was warmly received, but successive efforts generated a critical and popular reputation which grew exponentially. he was very soon able to resign from the occupation he had never truly loved, and devote himself to his new career. he was photographed and painted by the luminaries of our age, and his bust was even made in bronze. in time he married a good, intelligent, and beautiful woman, and together they formed those special creations even more precious than art, who were very well loved by their parents, and grew into capable and responsible men and women.

you might imagine a temptation to dissemble the photocopier, but being no natural engineer, John experienced no such temptation. and you might imagine the photocopier breaking down, but actually it was a very sturdily built photocopier, constructed by a reputable manufacturer – built to last rather than to be replaced – and it did certainly last for all the days of John’s life.

after he died, his house was donated by his children in its entirety to a university, which intended to turn it into a museum – but upon discovering the nature of the photocopier in his basement, it could no longer be so. John was exposed as a fraud, and the photocopier was destroyed by an honest committee. none of that mattered to John. what had mattered to him really was to live a happy and prosperous life. and so when he was dead, nothing else was really important to him.

thanks to appropriate legal action, the copyright of his works remains with his family.

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