Sunday, 1 March 2015
I have come to believe that literature and other arts and I have a somewhat tempestuous relationship. I love it passionately and with great enthusiasm but can be often hit with its wisp of futility in over thought out extracts or introductions that lead me to question the exact purpose of adhering to literature works so vehemently. I also have reason to believe that in reading so extensively I have acquired the necessary understanding in order to write such bullshit sentences as these. It's a dangerous, figurative realm to enter.
I have written before about the precocious pedestal literature academia sits upon in the sense of its relatively strict "Good" and "Bad" differentiation between various works, but have yet to discuss another of my qualms with the subject. Having had to read through an unbearably long introduction to a modern publication of Hamlet recently with its intrinsically written paragraphs on the contestable source of the infamous Shakespeare play I found myself thinking as I struggled through, "Who really cares about this bollocks?". This is of course no insult upon the ever wondrous language of the Bard, but on the lengthy, ever growing culmination of interpretations and critical analyses of different works in all literature. Who really benefits from this endless stream of other people's opinions? Has it really affected our evolution as intelligent beings?
Well, truth be told, the answer to the latter is yes and the answer to the former is most likely everyone ever even if you are illiterate. Probably. I am a big hypocrite to express my disdain for the efforts made by academics in breaking down every art work, novel, poem or film created for enjoyment and benefit of both themselves and others for whilst writing an essay I'd rather not waste my time on seems pointlessly labourious I truly enjoy nothing more than having a lively discussion on a book or a play. What I often fail to remember is that where I may not agree or become engaged with every interpretation or a piece of work itself, the simple desire to understand the human condition is prominent in every branch of art and literature and also within those who adore both. Every book written is an attempt to understand something or someone with greater triumph which means that every analysis and interpretation is just a further attempt to break down what it initially sort out to explore and discover.
This literature world I am wary of entering is not as futile as it sometimes appears to me. It may not be as blatantly useful as the immediate benefits to humanity or nature provided by careers like nursing or charity work or engineering can be, but it is a world dedicated to discovering and investigating a condition we've spent the last few hundred years trying to understand. So maybe I should just button my mouth shut and get on with it.