Author Topic: A book that is an "easy read" is a lower form of literature. Discuss here.  (Read 22559 times)

Patti L.

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Thought I'd bump this up a bit with some thoughts on how we can draw parallels between written "literature" or "easy reads" against modern/nuanced movie/TV performances and adaptations of various stories versus the productions of twenty, thirty, fifty, seventy years ago.

My classic example of this is perhaps the slapstick humor of The Three Stooges versus what Jim Carey does.
The stooges were fairly blatantly mean, stupid, abusive.
It was still funny, even uproarious at times. 

You put a kid who grew up on Jim Carey's "The Mask", "Ace Ventura", "Liar, Liar", etc. down in front of the Stooges for the first time and they'll be bored and dismissive.

Why?
Because it's crude.  It's blatant.  It's obviously mean.

So why was it funny to the first few generations who saw it?

Because it's still funny.
It is the ancestor of what Jim Carey does.  He can be tall because he stands on the shoulders of those who came before.  Stooges, Marx Brothers, Laurel & Hardy, Abbott & Costello. 

We -or our children/current generation - can still enjoy the ones who came earlier, if we stop to think about it in context.  Carey's not the comedic version of Literature, but no more are the teams I spoke of before.  They're just different generations of the same lessons, framed for the society in which they were read/watched.

Take a look at Jim Carey's movies - or Robin Williams', or most other comedic stars of more modern vintage - break it down, and they're still quite often based on being mean to other people, or selfish.

I don't have to read Dickens or Austen to get their lessons.  As Joseph Campbell has pointed out in "the Hero with 1,000 Faces", we re-tell the same stories with casts and settings that work for who we are now, to make them recognizable for those to whom the lessons are being taught.
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Baum Diggity

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Ooh, good Campbell reference!

I agree. I see all of these forms of expression - comedy, drama, etc. to not be stand-alone comparisons, but rather a continuous expression that builds off its predecessors. Epics wouldn't be what they are without the Homer. Fantasy wouldn't be what it is without Lewis or Tolkien. I don't know if it's fair to compare to and criticize, but perhaps more fair to draw parallels and comment upon expansion of the base narrative.
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Patti L.

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It's a leap year. Sanity is in short supply.  You can't have mine.

charmed

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Interesting and the author makes some very good points.
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BillG

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Yes.
"Change is the end result of all true learning."
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