Re: Sources and creativity.

From: Jane Williams (
Date: Tue 28 Jan 1997 - 00:12:05 EET

We seem to have two very different questions getting mixed up here;
1) Do we care what is "official", and how does one define it?
2) is it helpful to reference sources quoted?

Question 1 we could argue about for weeks (in fact, Steve and I have: I
tend to say that if it isn't accessible ie. in print in the last five years, it can
be as official as it likes but I'm still ignoring it). Obviously views on
this are going to differ, and as I gradually track down more pre-dawn
sources I expect my views will change too.

But question 2 is perhaps more relevant, and useful to discuss.
Personally I would much prefer it if people referenced their sources to
at least some extent. At least two reasons:
a) if I think something's totally brilliant, I'll try to track down the
source and read more.
b) Context. Not that any one context is any more "official" than another,
but just so we understand what's going on. For instance, if I were to
quote some of (say) Joerg's ideas on Karse, out of context, it wouldn't
mean much unless you then looked up his web page and found out how he
thinks the history of the place worked. If the quote was taken from
someone else's theories (potentially just as valid, of course), it would
mean something different.
c) Very occasionally, reliability. If someone said to me "but there's
this brilliant picture in Troll Gods that shows...." then I might just take
it with a pinch of salt.
d) if the thing you're referring to is out of print, then please not only
reference it but quote verbatim enough to be useful. It'll make a lot
more sense that way.
Jane Williams


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