today I read something that gives me a most curious mix of feelings.
There’s a novel out named “The Stranger Within Sarah Stein” by a writer named Thane Rosenbaum. The novel deals (at least partly) with the Holocaust; its central character is a young Jewish girl named Sarah Stein. Here’s a review from the LA Times (http://www.latimes.com/entertainment/news/la-et-book-20120324,0,6332847.story).
As you may or may not know I wrote a song named “Sarah Stein” that was released on the album The Things That Count in 2008.
The song is about a young Jewish girl emigrating from Europe in the 1930ies to escape the Holocaust (and how her life continues). You may find the studio version of this song at markusrill.bandcamp.com, here’s an acoustic version:
Am I to assume that this is simply a coincidence - a girl of the same name, the same age, same background, and a similar theme to his story and mine?
I admit, I invented the name because of the connotations that it carries and because it has the right kind of sound. And it’s not that far-fetched. It’s certainly not inconceivable that the same train of thought led novelist Rosenbaum to come up with the same name for his novel’s protagonist.
Then again, it’s not inconceivable either that the novelist heard my song somewhere in the ethers of the interweb. The song was a finalist in some songwriting competitions (and available on the net), it’s also one of my most-played videos on Youtube.
I can imagine that the author came across the song and remembered the name subconsciously.
I cannot imagine that he ripped me off.
Firstly, I really don’t know enough about his novel to make such a claim. And secondly, if my song actually inspired him to write this novel, I believe it would’ve been quite easy to come up with a different name for the novel’s heroine to mask any plagiarism.
So, again, I don’t think I’ve been plagiarized. I don’t assume such self-importance.
But I can’t help but feel - against my better judgment - that this is a curious coincidence.
I have tried to get a message through to author Thane Rosenbaum through his website. I wonder if I’ll be hearing back from him - it would be nice.
What do you all make of this? Tell me honestly if I’m imagining things or if you find this curious as well.
Thanks in advance,