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Monday 22 October 2018

Modern Literature Is NOT Better Than Ancient Stories

I think that after a few hundred years to consider, it might still be too soon to tell, but it's starting to look to me like the invention of the modern novel was, in the final balance, a big mistake.

And it's hilarious to see articles being published (like this one here) suggesting that somehow modern literature is better because in pre-modern literature heroes just went and did stuff, and you didn't get a lot of information by the author (like you would in a novel) explaining what they were feeling or how their inner monologue was going or what their motivation was.  As if having some author who thinks himself extra-clever telling you some wordy detailing of someone's inner psychology is better than creating a multi-level myth full of symbols and archetypes far more ancient than the author, far more powerful than what the author could write, and far  more intelligent than what the author imagines xirself to be.

Modern "literature" has become so, so much more shallow than ancient legend, myth, and chronicles. That's because modern literature has all but abandoned Archetype, and because the selfsame explicit exposition of inner feelings that the link seems to be praising is actually a kind of 'cheat' that cheapens everything.   It essentially turns an accounting from something that can be observed through a vast variety of perspectives and at a vast varieties of levels into a kind of 'propaganda' where the author is telling you directly what everyone feels and thus why they're doing things.

So keep all that in mind while you run Lion & Dragon!  That is, make sure you run your Medieval-Authentic game in a way that doesn't look like a product of modern literature, obsessed with overt explanations of people's motivations or feelings. Work with archetypes and stories based on actions, and leave the players to create debate/discussion over meanings.


Currently Smoking:  Lorenzetti Solitario Egg + Barking Dog


  1. That seems like throwing the baby out with the bathwater, frankly. I mean, I am certain 99% of what people liked way back in the day was also mostly trash.

  2. This is a good place to start: