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A pastiche is a work of visual art, literature, or music that imitates the style or character of the work of one or more other artists. Unlike parody, pastiche celebrates, rather than mocks, the work it imitates.
The word pastiche is a French cognate of the Italian noun pasticcio, which is a pâté or pie-filling mixed from diverse ingredients. Metaphorically, pastiche and pasticcio describe works that are either composed by several authors, or that incorporate stylistic elements of other artists' work. Pastiche is an example of eclecticism in art.
Allusion is not pastiche. A literary allusion may refer to another work, but it does not reiterate it. Moreover, allusion requires the audience to share in the author's cultural knowledge. Both allusion and pastiche are mechanisms of intertextuality.
For example, many stories featuring Sherlock Holmes, originally created by Arthur Conan Doyle, have been written as pastiches since the author's time. Ellery Queen and Nero Wolfe are other popular subjects of mystery parodies and pastiches.
A similar example of pastiche is the posthumous continuations of the Robert E. Howard stories, written by other writers without Howard's authorization. This includes the Conan stories of L. Sprague de Camp and Lin Carter. David Lodge's novel The British Museum Is Falling Down (1965) is a pastiche of works by Joyce, Kafka, and Virginia Woolf. In 1991, Alexandra Ripley wrote the novel Scarlett, a pastiche of Gone with the Wind, in an unsuccessful attempt to have it recognized as a canonical sequel.
Pastiche is also found in non-literary works, including art and music. For instance, Charles Rosen has characterized Mozart's various works in imitation of Baroque style as pastiche, and Edvard Grieg's Holberg Suite was written as a conscious homage to the music of an earlier age. Some of Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky's works, such as his Variations on a Rococo Theme and Serenade for Strings, employ a poised "Classical" form reminiscent of 18th-century composers such as Mozart (the composer whose work was his favorite). Perhaps one of the best examples of pastiche in modern music is the that of George Rochberg, who used the technique in his String Quartet No. 3 of 1972 and Music for the Magic Theater. Rochberg turned to pastiche from serialism after the death of his son in 1963.
"Bohemian Rhapsody" by Queen is unusual as it is a pastiche in both senses of the word, as there are many distinct styles imitated in the song, all 'hodge-podged' together to create one piece of music. A similar earlier example is "Happiness is a Warm Gun" by The Beatles.
In cinema, the influence of the Star Wars films of George Lucas (spawning their own pastiches – see the 1983 3D film Metalstorm: The Destruction of Jared-Syn) can be regarded as a function of postmodernity.
Pastiche can also be a cinematic device wherein the creator of the film pays homage to another filmmaker's style and use of cinematography, including camera angles, lighting, and mise en scène. A film's writer may also offer a pastiche based on the works of other writers (this is especially evident in historical films and documentaries but can be found in non-fiction drama, comedy and horror films as well).
In urban planning, "pastiche" is used to describe developments as imitations of the building styles created by major architects: the implication is that the work is unoriginal and of little merit, and the term is generally attributed without reference to its urban context. Many post-war European developments can in this way be described as pastiches of the work of architects and planners such as Le Corbusier or Ebenezer Howard. Alain de Botton describes pastiche as "an unconvincing reproduction of the styles of the past".
Masses are composed of movements: Kyrie, Gloria, Credo, Sanctus, Agnus Dei; for example, the Missa Solemnis by Beethoven and the Messe de Nostre Dame by Guillaume de Machaut. In a pastiche Mass, the performers may choose a Kyrie from one composer, and a Gloria from another, or, choose a Kyrie from one setting of an individual composer, and a Gloria from another.
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- (Jameson, 1991)
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- Alain de Botton on architecture
- Brown, David, "Tchaikovsky, Pyotr Ilyich." In The New Grove Encyclopedia of Music and Musicians (London: MacMillan, 1980), 20 vols., ed. Sadie, Stanley. ISBN 0-333-23111-2.
- Pastiche. Pastiche Creations is a multi-author web of varied themes, extolling the value of pastiche as a means to create from the rules generated by teachers.
- Jameson, Fredric (1989). "Postmodernism and Consumer Society". In Foster, Hal. The Anti-Aesthetic: Essays on Post-Modern Culture. Seattle: Bay Press. pp. 111–125.
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- Dyer, Richard (2007). Pastiche. New York: Routledge. ISBN 9780415340090. OCLC 64486475.