Saturday, June 6, 2015

Data, Knowledge, Wisdom and the Death of Literature.

Five years ago I posted an article about what effects this internet age is inflicting upon mentor-protege relationships, entitled Mentors, Proteges, and Printers. This same theme was alluded to in My Enduring Path to Mindfulness (from a martial artist point of view).

Recently, (March of 2015) I published my first work of fiction. The Symbiot. (It is available in both hard copy (print) and Kindle). Is is the first in what will be either a trilogy or four-part piece.

The second novel, The Hunt: Symbiosys, is written but due for release in the Fall of 2015. 
(This is preliminary cover art - more conceptual than anything else. If you're an artist and would like to summit artwork, please, I would be more than grateful!)

The third book (Necropolis) I am in the middle of writing. 
The series takes place in a Lovecraftian world, and without giving away any spoilers, Cthulhu makes and appearance in the third... sort of.

Now, I figured I had better do some of my homework, and in my meandering about, I stumbled across the fact the Cthulhu has a "Son" and "Daughter". (The words son and daughter might not be the best terms to use... maybe "spawn of" might be better as they are anything but human or human-like).

I googled Ghatanothoa and Cthylla only to discover that both appear in "Out of the Aeons" (by H.P. Lovecraft and Hazel Heald, 1933) and "The Transition of Titus Crow" (by Brian Lumbly, 1975), both books of which I have in my library and have read. But I didn't remember these monsters.

Now, in all fairness, I discovered Lovecraft at the end of High School and the early days of Collage. I went on a reading blitz and voraciously devoured anything and everything I could lay my hands on that was Lovecraft.... It is a great deal of material. Maybe I just missed it. Maybe it was one of those days on the bus I kept nodding off to sleep... who can say for certain? (Maybe it was because this was all 28 years ago!)

But I digress. Last night I pulled out my Arkham House printed edition of "The Horror in the Museum" (1970) - which is where you would find "Out of the Aeons".

The most obvious thing dawned on me when I read "Out of the Aeons". There is a beautiful art is the telling of a story. It is not simply a series of 'facts' or statements. It is a craft. It is truly the realm of the wordsmith; the weaving of a narrative. There is a pace, a theme, a flavour! There is not only an art to writing and telling a story, there is also an art, a pleasure, a pace, if you will - in reading a story... and I think that art is dying or dead.

The wikipedia google search for "Out of the Aeons" lays out - spoilers and all - of the entire short story. It basically butchers it. It was an annotated version of its Cole's Notes. The craft of these two writers (as well as yourself as the reader) was killed. The suspense, the tension, the feel is gone. Is this what the youth of today see & read? Are they missing the beautiful subtle nuances in favour of simple data? It knowledge being mistaken for its experience?

Sadly, I think so. Is the art of reading dying?