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In order to paint Nasreen as a mad woman with a powerful grudge, Lasdun takes an unnecessarily dry and impersonal tone, using supplementary texts on the nature of obsession to further his case. As he goes into his analysis, painting Nasreen as a stalker and himself as a heroic naïf, the more he starts to sound like Humbert Humbert, more complicit than innocent, more culpable than defensible.
Homage vs. Rip-off: An Interview with Lev Grossman and a Guide to Literary Allusions in The Magician King 13
"When people think you've plagiarized from another writer, rather than alluded to them, the reaction is extreme. They get angry. It's a dangerous game; you have to get it right."
The advice of many aesthetes turns the reader’s capacity for pleasure into just another test of his cultural status—and the effect of this kind of sly pressure is to make it more difficult to distinguish what we enjoy from what we think we ought to enjoy.