Deakin University

File(s) under permanent embargo

Theft as creative methodology: a case study of digital narratives

Version 2 2024-06-17, 23:23
Version 1 2017-03-20, 09:46
conference contribution
posted on 2024-06-17, 23:23 authored by MK Takolander
Creativity is often still Romantically conceived and valued in terms of its purity and originality. However, this paper argues that theft––or revisionism––has been a fundamental methodology of creative practice from ancient times through to the digital age. Creativity is visionary only insofar as it is revisionary, and this is because, as common sense confirms, it always emerges from within a cultural domain. The first section of this paper, following the work of Pierre Bourdieu, advances a theory of revisionism grounded in the ‘field of cultural production.’ The second part of the paper explores how literary revisionism manifests itself as a central methodology of creative practice in the digital age. It concludes with a brief study of an interactive digital narrative pilot, We Tell Stories, by a major publisher of traditional literature, Penguin in the UK. This project demonstrates how a revisionary methodology remains central to a publishing economy increasingly challenged to ‘remediate’ (in Jay David Bolter and Richard Grusin’s terms) in response to the digital revolution. It also makes visible the function of revisionism within the ‘field of cultural production,’ as theorised by Bourdieu, in part because of the defamiliarised context for creativity afforded by the digital.





Canberra, A.C.T.

Start date


End date






Publication classification

E1 Full written paper - refereed

Copyright notice

2017, AAWP


Fanaiyan N, Franks R, Seymour J

Title of proceedings

The authorised theft: writing, scholarship, collaboration papers : The refereed proceedings of the 21st conference of the Australasian Association Of Writing Programs, 2016, Canberra AUS


Australian Association of Writing Programs. Conference (21st : 2016 :Canberra, A.C.T.)


Australasian Association of Writing Programs

Place of publication

[Canberra, A.C.T.]