Homage vs. Pastiche?
Where would you draw the line between these two? When does an homage to a particular writer/style/work become simply a pastiche?
Part of this comes from my thinking about the Boskrea stories, which some of you know. They're all unpublished so far, but those in a critique group with me should recognize them. From the beginning one of my main goals with these stories was to challenge myself, to experiment with a variety of ways of telling a story. Part of that has included some self-aware patterning after certain Borges stories or Lovecraft or Calvino. Not all the stories fit that mold, but it's something that's come up various times. If any of those crosses the line from homage to pastiche, it's probably the Lovecraft one--I probably have enough distance from it now I should reread it and see.
But now I'm playing with the idea of another, except this time instead of it harkening to any particular writer, it'll be a nod toward a certain non-Western work that's sort of a genre to itself. But a part of me worries about simply co-opting the form. As I see it there are two major pitfalls to avoid. The first is simply transplanting the work as close as possible into my Boskrea setting. In one sense that's faithful to the original work, the original intent...but the lack of creativity will show that it's merely a superficial resemblance. The other pitfall is to simply take a vague impression of the original and then plow on ahead with my Western eyes. It's a way of colonizing the unfamiliar, and artistically (as well as ethically) it seems just as bankrupt. So I guess I'm trying to understand the work better, to get down underneath it and know more than just its surface. The story that results will probably have some superficial resemblance as well as some jarring differences, but I hope that underneath it's a respectful homage to that other work.
We'll see (I'm still not focusing at all on creating new things, so I'm not sure even when I might get around to this). But I'd love to hear any other thoughts on this--homage vs. pastiche, broadening the sources of fantasy (etc.) vs. co-opting and colonizing them.