LETTER: Plagiarism or genius? TS Eliot in good company

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The Independent Online
BRIAN Cathcart's article "T S Eliot 'stole idea for The Waste Land'" (10 December) should have surprised no one.

Mozart, one of the most conscientiously eclectic geniuses, was a "rewriter". Shakespeare was a notorious "rewriter". That T S Eliot was a "rewriter" reaffirms his stature. When will academics accept there is no such thing as a virgin birth in the arts?

A more profitable project for academics such as Robert Ian Scott and John Newton would be to discover what it is in such "rewriting" that can transform base metal into gold.

Dr Michael Waite

Chichester, West Sussex