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Pastiche, a literary technique employing a generally light-hearted tongue-in-cheek imitation of another's style; although jocular, it is usually respectful. Examples in the English language include the many stories featuring Sherlock Holmes written by writers other than Arthur Conan Doyle and David Lodge's novel The British Museum Is Falling Down (1965). Much fan fiction relies heavily on pastiche for any effects it might have.

Pastiche is also used 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.

Pastiche is also used less scrupulously to take commercial advantage of popular styles or subjects. Many genre writings, particularly in fantasy, are essentially pastiches.

A variant meaning

When it was new in English (late 19th century), pastiche was used with an additional element of meaning: a work was designated as pastiche if it was cobbled together in imitation of several original works. As the Oxford English Dictionary put it, a pastiche was "a medley of various ingredients; a hotchpotch, farrago, jumble." This earlier meaning accords with etymology: pastiche is the French version of Italian pasticcio, which designated a kind of pie made of many different ingredients. Over the course of the 20th century, pastiche came to shift in its meaning, so that now it is used by educated speakers as described in the first paragraph above, without any necessary connotation of hodge-podge.