Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Future of Literature?

Not much traveling of late in the geographical sense...but I do get to "travel" into the world of written works on a daily basis. Here is an interesting passage I found while doing research for a paper. Although I agree with what it says, it makes me happy to know there are a few old souls, like my own, who are dedicated to the old-fashioned aesthetic expressions of reading (and re-reading) and writing.

"Poetry and literature in general with a predominantly aesthetic function (is) losing prestige. In recent decades, because we have been living more obviously in a society dominated by it, the media has been a powerful influence on what we perceive and how we perceive it. It forms our ways of behaving and communicating, it shapes the way we remember things. The tradition of reading things slowly over and over again, which for many centuries was a factor in forming...society, is disappearing. Poetry representing artistic communication has lost its function and is being replaced by other types of art and culture based on the auditory and visual senses, chiefly on the visual. This is a culture mostly disseminated by the mass media, in which precedence is given to rapidly changing and exciting information. These new means of communication, however, do not offer literature any new opportunities to progress."

-Jiří Holý, Writers Under Siege-

Monday, August 16, 2010

The Beginning

I am searching for a true calling...a purpose...a niche. Of late I have wondered if writing might be it. I like the idea of being a writer: the creative process, imparting thoughts in the hopes that others will impart theirs, the use of words in general. For as long as I can remember, reading and writing are as essential as breathing to me, so it seems fitting that I would be drawn to such a career path. However, I have no idea how one becomes a writer and I have rather convincing doubts as to whether I can be any good at it. As pestering as those doubts may be, the desire to be a writer remains...so I figured I'd give it a go with the no-commitments-no-pressure blog writing.

After I stumbled across the idea that "maybe I could be a writer", and got swept away by the idealism of it, I got down to trying to pin-point just what type of writing I wanted to do. That led me to a sort of internal search for what things most stir my soul which boiled down to the following: literature/art, history (mainly that of Europe), travel, and faith. So this blog will (hopefully) be a harmony of those elements.

I am calling this blog "
Novel Travels" for two main reasons. 1) more superficially, "novel" because one of my favorite ways to travel & experience a different culture and/or a distant place is through the lens of literature (fiction or non-fiction). Reading a novel or poetry that was either set in a location you are soon to visit or is by an author who was inspired by that region, really brings your travel experience to life in a deeper and more pervasive manner. I travel that way as often as I can. 2) more symbolically I'm calling this "Novel Travels" because I see traveling as a way to deepen faith (or experience it in different ways) and to bring history (the academic discipline that is closest to my heart) to life. Also "Novel" in the sense that I am most attracted to ventures that are not typical, but rather off-the-beaten path and overlooked or unknown. I don't claim this to be a "novel" idea because I know that I am not unique in thinking of traveling this way, but it is "novel" in a way because the frequently purchased traveling books do not promote this view of traveling very often, not as often as they should.

I doubt anyone will read this, but perhaps someday I will look back at these entries as the beginning of my discovering of who the Creator intended me to be.