In Praise of Copying

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* Book: In Praise of Copying. Marcus Boon Harvard University Press, 2010

URL = free pdf copy



"makes the case that “copying is an essential part of being human, that the ability to copy is worthy of celebration, and that, without recognizing how integral copying is to being human, we cannot understand ourselves or the world we live in.” Boon is a writer, journalist and Associate Professor in the English Literature department at York University, Toronto." (

2. New Yorker:

"“. . .not an investigation of the ethical dilemmas of copying but a Gertrude Stein-like affirmation of the mimesis that happens everywhere and everyday. Boon sees copying as fundamental to existence, part of ‘how the universe functions and manifests.’ . . . Boon encourages us to rethink terms like ‘subject,’ ‘object,’ ‘different,’ and ‘the other,’ in order to “account for our fear of and fascination with copying.” (


"One of the most interesting books I read this year was Marcus Boon‘s In Praise of Copying (free PDF download). It’s a philosophically broad consideration of copying, informed by Buddhism – which has long considered essencelessness — and a really good soundtrack. Published on Harvard University press, it gives me hope for akademic writing: Boon’s prose is lucid and approachable, whether discussing “Louis Vuitton” bags or Taoist views on the ecology of copying… " (