Where Did the Storytellers Go?


Hardly a fact is more sobering than watching literature fall from the grandeur of Dumas or Dickens to the sloppy drama-fest of such stories as twilight.

Bim Peacock, Literature Editor

Do you absolutely love The Hunger Games?  How about Divergent, Twilight, or any other story written and/or turned into a movie in the last ten years?  While pretty explosions and “heartbreaking” romances can be fascinating, in all reality, the same story told over and over gets tiresome.  That is truly what these stories are: the same plot taken and altered just enough to seem new.  Half the time, Hollywood and our dearest writers do not even go that far.  Instead, they cram an obnoxious amount of explosions and fighting scenes onto a screen, and by the end of the movie, the few people who watch them with a brain find themselves asking, “What was the point to that?”

Recently, I re-watched the last Hobbit movie (a wonderful tale if anyone has read it), and as I assumed, there was rather little Hollywood could do to stretch the last four pages of a book into a movie.  Instead of representing the great writer Tolkien was, the writers of this movie quite literally threw together two-and-a-half hours of explosions and sword fighting, with about fifteen minutes of story development.

The question is: what happened to literature?  What happened to the stories we can look back on and be proud of human thought?  Sure, eras have their peaks and their troughs, but when people look back, all they will see of this generation will be one long movie with a teenager saving the world from zombies.  Apparently, that ridiculous concept is all this generation thinks about, for it is all one will see and hear talked about.  Stories that emerge these days follow a furiously linear pattern that can be predicted almost word for word from beginning to end, whereas fifty years ago, stories like George Orwell’s 1984 were questioning conditions that had never been considered before.  150 years ago, people like Charles Dickens were weaving plots that created an entire world of unseen connections until the very end.  Even thousands of years ago, stories like the Odyssey arose that took reality and twisted it around the axle of imagination.  Have we not grown since then?

One can claim all they want that such stories are still written, but all that emerge today are little more than pale shadows of the tales told across the ages.  Action movies like Mission Impossible are simply redoes of the classic James Bond movies.  Science fiction is nothing but attempts to copy Star Wars or Star Trek.  Even Game of Thrones is an over-dramatized version of Tolkien’s stories. Why is this?  It is because the people of our age have low aspirations.  Writers do not want to create something beautiful and unique; they want to be like their literary heroes.  It’s too hard to push one’s mind to think of something new, so writers would rather rewrite the old stories to get their name into the world.  Don’t bother claiming that there are no more stories to tell.  The great writers of history probably heard that themselves and defied it time and time again.

Let this be a call to those that call themselves writers: start something new.  Those with half a brain are sick of the repetition and drawn out drama of today’s literature.  Write something wonderful, something no one could imagine.  Think of something beyond this boredom, but please do think, and maybe the future could look fondly back upon our mind.