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August 2019
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get taken seriously

I’m reading this novel and I came across a bit of dialogue that I think perfectly fits why I hate modern literature/film:

“People think that if something ends happy, it’s not real. [...] It’s all shit. It’s not life. When bad things happen in real life you don’t get a cookie for sitting through it and bragging to your friends that it taught you the truth of the universe. It’s not beautiful. It’s not compelling. You drag yourself up and sew yourself back together and most of the time you get jack shit for not putting a bullet through your brain except another stupid sunrise that you probably sleep through anyway. [...] I had a point. I don’t know what it is, other than stupid movies are stupid and you shouldn’t let them get to you.”

I think this blurs the line between the audience and the subject a bit. Usually the characters aren’t the ones having the cookies with their friends talking about how they learned the truths of the universe, it’s the audience. If you go back to the ancient Greeks, tragedy was only one of the dramatic genres and it had a function (I really only remember catharsis, but Wikipedia says that there is also mimesis). We aren’t learning deep truths in tragedies, they just help cleanse us of our tears.

  • http://linda.curious-notions.net Linda

    i think a deep truth for all tragedies is shit happens and we can go with it or let it it ruin us.

  • mef

    Right. I was more addressing the whole “if something ends happily, it’s not real.” I think that idea pervades a lot of the modern/post-modern film and lit.