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Re: [BKARTS] regarding a story

I didn't notice any responses to Audrey Hill's question from a few days
back regarding the re-using of a story, so this may be the first. Perhaps
this situation doesn't come up very often, but Audrey, our next Convivio
Bookworks book actually traveled a very similar road. The story is
something that I heard, years and years ago, from a Catholic priest, and it
always stuck with me. I know where I heard it, but I haven't a clue who it
was who told it, and no one claimed it, either, when I inquired. Seems to
me a tale that's been told and told again, who knows how many times. So it
is very much in the oral folk tale tradition.

And then I come along and write it down, years later, and now, even more
years later, turn it into a book. The book's introduction makes note of all
these things, so it is clear to anyone who reads it that the story is not
mine; it is simply something that I recorded, and adapted. Talk about years
to make a book! I probably heard the tale in the late 80s, wrote it down
years later, and I remember being at the Penland School in North Carolina
in 1995, at the Pines dining room, and getting a sudden inspiration for an
illustration for the main character. I drew it on a napkin and kept the
napkin for years, too, before finally scanning it and making it into a
polymer plate just a few months ago. If all goes as planned, I'll be
printing that illustration, finally, this weekend.

Audrey, it sounds like you've made thorough work of trying to find your
story's source. I think you can re-tell the tale in good conscience. And I
think you're on the right track, too, by crediting and thanking your source
and mentioning the fact that you can't find him.

Our book, by the way, should be out (finally!) later this spring. A glimpse
of the decade-old Penland Napkin illustration and a brief description of
the book may be found at our website:


You'll find "The Room of Crosses" at the top of the "Current Projects" link.

With respect to all the storytellers,

Convivio Bookworks
John Cutrone & Seth Thompson, proprietors
Handmade Books from Lake Worth, Florida

At 04:43 PM 4/23/2005, Audrey Hill wrote:
I have been interested in illustrating a particular story for quite some
time.  I mentioned it on this list one before.   For a while I thought
that the
story had been written by the author who first introduced me to the story
and I
did, as some on this list recommended... I tried to contact him regarding it.
  After doing a little research, I discovered that the story is actually a
well known chinese parable.  I would like to illustrate it and publish it, if
possible... staying close to the  version I first heard, but using my own
obviously to avoid any copyright infringement.   I believe source where I
found the story is out of print and I fear that the author may even be
dead. I've
sent letters to his former publisher and to two organizations with which I
think he may have been affiliated, so that I could communicate directly
with him.

Since the parable is not ascribed to a particular person, I believe I can
rewrite it and illustrate it with a clear conscience now, can't I..?  I would
wish to attribute to him nonetheless, since he was my original source...
based on
a retelling by... etc.

Any feedback would be welcome.


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