Sunday, January 30, 2011

Come, Take My Hand, Explore New Lands!

“Just take a look; it’s in a book…” (Reading Rainbow). For those of us who have grown up with shows like Sesame Street, Lambchops, Muppet Babies, and more, we also tend to have a distant nostalgic memory of a show with a creepy butterfly that transforms everyday life into a very psychedelic illusion.  The show opens up with a multicolored butterfly that has a rainbow trailing behind it, turning kids into astronauts, and dogs into dragons; It kind of sounds like a bad acid trip. The show that I am of course talking about is “Reading Rainbow”, and every week we would gather around the tv, flip it to PBS and see what exciting adventure we were going to go on with our host as we travel through the pages of a book. Then later on in the week we would follow our old gummy friend Gumby as he literally “jumped into books” taking us on a whirlwind of adventure.  

We allowed characters such as the creepy butterfly, Gumby, and Big Bird to take us into the book and discover the magic that lay inside. And as we got older, we discovered for ourselves the joy of reading. But for many of us this was our first taste at the world of literature, our first look into the world of books. And from our very first taste we were brought into the idea of an ability to “be anything we wanted to be, or do anything we wanted to do” simply by cracking open the pages of a book. From books about a family of bears that go to the dentist, to a book about a man’s quest for revenge on nature, we are flooded with a plethora of attainable knowledge and lessons to be gained from the stories in these novels. Books permeate our life from toddlerhood to the grave. It is recognizably one of the few hobbies that people actually practice all the way until death.
But literature holds so much more than just books in its wings, it permeates almost all aspects of life. Literature constitutes all areas and all subjects. When you watch a movie, essentially what you’re doing is “watching a book”. When you play a video game, often you’re playing a story written out; you’re almost creating your own literature as you play. Literature has a loose definition anywhere you go. Plays, poetry, movies, tv shows, are often all considered to arguably be forms of literature. For many, people view literature as only what is written and read, but this would entirely discredit oral literature, and literature in the form of art. When you look at it, a vast majority of our life is made up of literature, and often constituted of literary elements.
Literature, like everything else in existence, changes; it grows. And right now, literature is evolving at an alarming rate! The blend of technology and literature has been so popular right now. More and more of our time is being spent reading things on the internet and watching things and listening to things on the tv. More and more people are deciding to discontinue their subscription to the newspaper because they can have live feeds of news sent directly to them via the web. This explosion of advances is causing drastic changes that are often resulting in disputes and new developments. The world of information is expanding and literature is the main medium by which it is.
The purpose of this blog is look at this changing world of literature from every imaginable standpoint. This blog will focus on the traditional aspects of literature as well as the modern ones. It will look at the controversial subjects and ideas that are taking place in the world of literature. I intend to attempt to gain as much insight as possible about this growing creature and its affect and importance in our society and our life today. I would be quick to make the argument that without literature our society could not function. Rules, philosophy, religion, moral codes of conduct, entertainment- all these things are dependent upon literature. I hope that I may be able to create a blog where thinkers and readers can come together and discuss one of the main elements that tie these people together. So whether you’re a book nerd, scholar, librarian, hesitant reader, or someone that enjoys just picking someone’s brain, sit back, relax and enjoy, as we look at this world of literature.

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