Thursday, August 9, 2012

Books! BOOKS!! BOOKS!!!

They are wizards of concealment, diviners of revelation and masters of knowledge. They inform, enthrall and enchant. Some of the most sublime prose and world changing thought is contained between bound pages, encased in leather. Or for the more modern crowd, hardbacks and paperbacks. Literature has evolved and diverged into many forms and genres today. This expansion, has certainly added to the plethora of books at our disposal, but has this evolution towards an increasing quantity, compromised on the quality and substance, that used to be the norm of yore? The answer is no. It hasn't. No one can destroy literature, it cannot be corrupted by casual prose, any work of fiction or non-fiction only adds to literature. It is just a small part in an ever expanding universe. Literature is a symbol of enlightenment. And as my mentor Bruce Wayne puts it "A symbol cannot be corrupted". I paraphrase of course. But the point stands.

Can we argue that the Twilight and Fifty Shades of Grey series have corrupted literature. We could, but we shouldn't :P. Now, in all seriousness. Stephenie Meyer and E.L James have written books that only entertain women. So what? They entertain, thats it period. These works are a contribution to literature nonetheless, a major contribution at that. Now, the Twilight series has been classified as every woman's domestic fantasy, the perfect man while the Shades trilogy has been classified as mommy porn, which roughly translates to the boudoir fantasies of middle aged women nearing their mid-life crisis. The author herself has confessed to her work being exactly this. So, what if its porn? So was Chaucer's Miller's Tale. And that is still considered high literature isn't it.

I have to confess, that I haven't read either of these works. This however is not a reflection on these books,. Or maybe it is, I know I'm being contradictory here, but that may be because I'm a guy, and I prefer my erotica in the good ol' visual form. And here's another thing, The double standard (This is a sweeping generalisation, but it is true, more or less), that women don't watch porn. But they'll read the crap out of it a' la The Fifty Shades of Grey series which has sold nearly 31 million copies. Twilight and Shades may not have any literary merit but they do serve the present sensibilities. Which isn't saying much, because we're in a generation that watches The Jersey Shore and The Kardashians, takes duck face photos on a phone that has more processing power than the computers that put a man on the moon and quote YOLO. 

Hopefully, in the future, sensibilities will change. Books like the Twilight and Shades series have not weakened literature, they have only added to it. Literature encompasses everything from a glossy tabloid advertising a celebrity's divorce, to a graphic novel to high art like Shakespeare's Timon of Athens.

Writing a book, any book is not easy. And the act of crafting a book requires a lot of patience and hard work. Now the above mentioned authors may not be good examples for this kind of writer, but they are writers nonetheless. A book is eternal, its leaves will remain and endure, long after our generation is dust. And thus the act of crafting a book, filling its pages with thought, words and knowledge is the noblest of acts and deserves the highest respect. 
Today, the traditional book, is giving way to digital devices like the Kindle and the Nook. Again, these devices only add to literature and help it thrive. Now, the Kindle, has a glare free screen which enables you to read in the sunlight. You know what else you can read in the sunlight? A freaking book. 

The publishing industry was hit hard like any other during the financial crisis and traditional publishers still stay safe. But there has been quite a change in the publishing game since years of yester. Today, we have new writers emerging everyday and Getting published. I should know, I'm one of them. Writers writing in various genres, writers who could go on to to great things. Writers who could lead this generation and the next into literary Re-renaissance. Trust me Re-renaissance is a word. Young authors with a unique voice and words to share and fill the ever expanding universe of Books and I should know I'm one of them. 

Books are sublime carriers of wisdom and allow you to explore and live life as it was, as it is and as it may be in the future.   

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