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Conversing with Literature

March 10, 2014

It use to be a noble literary goal to try to say as much as possible in as few words as possible. These days, it seems the goal is to say as little as possible in as many words as possible.

There are two ways of speaking: sincerely and truthfully, or merely with an eye to keeping a conversation going. The two rarely coincide.

What people want is someone who can keep them entertained, as it takes so much more effort to keep yourself entertained for very long.

What does it say when a high flung science fiction saga is populated with characters whose dialogue is that of contemporary everyday conversation? That people don’t want to escape from everyday life quite as much as they like to imagine.

When literature gives in to the banalities of everyday life, it may credit itself for its realism. But then real literature is an art form. And an art form should always be reaching beyond the current trends of everyday life. If it is not, then we may aswell just put a tape recorder in people’s houses and listen to that on a loop. Of course we now do that with reality shows. This is the logical conclusion of the realism literature was once so proud of as being new and revolutionary.

 

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