Wednesday, September 5, 2007

Significant Literature

The article linked above (from hatrack) really hammers home something I ran across before, that modern literature doesn't seem to do any heavy thinking any more. I've noticed in school that a lot of the books I read in my English classes where rather meaningless. They didn't really go anywhere and didn't do anything or have anything to say at the end of the trip. Finishing the book was like finishing a sit-com, that was a waste of my time.

I've long been a fan of sci-fi and fantasy and now Harry Potter. They tended to wrestle with hard problems come out with something that may or may not work.

Almost everyone ignores or disdains those genres, and that is okay by me. It's really for the best. What they don't know can't challenge their mindset.

The thing is I remember when Star Wars came out. I saw it 9 times and drove my parents crazy about it. They see what they believe is everything that it is about. A space shoot-em-up and rescue the princess story. Eventually it made its way through the Iron Curtain, and the censors saw the same things: a nice safe space western, no threat to the Party. Talking to my cousins after they'd seen it, they saw what I saw, the little guy can make a difference and destroy the empire. I might not be the Luke but I can be the Biggs that let's Luke get his shot off.

People see what they expect to see. There was someone railing against Harry Potter because it isn't Christian because it is set after the ministry Christ and doesn't talk about it, while The Lord of the Rings is okay since it is set before. That just made my head spin and I had to stop reading, it made no sense to me whatsoever.

If you want to write something that is going to do some serious thinking forget about trying to get into traditional literature, you have to go into the children's or fantasy genres to do it. Pixar is doing the same thing very well. The Incredibles taught that happiness is found through honesty to ourselves and families. Cars; there is more to life then work, and Ratatouille explores loyalty to self, family and friends. Much deeper then the comedies they appear to be.

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