The Importance of Literature is a constantly questioned topic; especially in this hustle bustle of a life we’re in. Everything these days is fast paced and instant information. It’s actually quite frightening to see how our works of literature have changed. I was watching one of those old silent film movies (Metropolis) where the actors have no voice, and any significant dialogue or conversation is displayed on an all black screen with white lettering; the mood of the movie is carried by an orchestra. At first the “quiet” was annoying, and the background music became monotonous. But after a while, I got to thinking. There was something really cool about this. Only the main parts of dialogue are actually written out for the viewer, but a large majority of it is left to the imagination. I found this very intriguing. In today’s world everything is so fast paced, we want our answers now, and we want it quick! Now I’m not saying this is bad, but it was quite refreshing to look at things from a new, more relaxed, perspective.
Then I got to thinking… it seems like most of life has followed this same concept of speeding everything up. Have the callings of the Futurist Manifesto come to fruition? Today instead of watching full clips of comedy, we see “snippits” of comedy in quick 30 second “youtube” videos. Instead of reading books for information, the majority of the world looks up quick articles, and instead of searching through a cumbersome encyclopedia to find an answer to something, we’ve all become familiar with the term JFGI! (for those of you that don’t know what that is, you can always Google it)
The concept of working hard and spending vast amounts of time to gain knowledge is slowly disappearing. (Perhaps due to everyone’s ability and ease to access information on the internet) And I began to notice this when I was watching the movie and realizing how much work I had to do in order to simply follow the story. I had to watch each and every overly exaggerated expressions on their faces, and use what I saw, felt, and knew, to come to my own understanding of what was going on in the movie (rather than just having it all spelt out for me). And that’s the way our gathering of information from literature used to be (in my opinion), but it has certainly shifted. It’s really quite interesting to take an anachronistic approach to viewing literature.
Sure literature is constantly changing, morphing, and evolving into a new creature all its own, and for the most part, it’s a really good thing. But if history has taught us anything, it’s that the answer to almost any situation is always moderation. If we completely abandon these old ways of thinking and continue on using only our fast paced “give it to me now” method of gaining knowledge (and I am probably most guilty of this) we are certainly going to lose something very precious from our past. But if we entirely shift back to “old ways” of literature we will never progress. It’s important that we maintain the old, but continue to push new boundaries. And if we do this, I think our literature of tomorrow is going to become something absolutely incredible!