There’s a scene in the middle of The Boathouse in which the characters discuss a case of plagiarism over dinner. One character, a professor, tells the story of a student who copied a work by Joyce and then feigned ignorance. “If you’re going to steal,” he says, “maybe steal from someone more obscure.” This leads into an entire discussion of theft vs influence and how all of that shapes art and literature.
It’s a startlingly relevant scene as well because The Boathouse either –depending on your point of view– borrows from or is influenced very heavily by some classics, most notably the work of Henry James and Alfred Hitchcock. Do you know why these influences are classics, though? Because they’re good.