Potiphar12's Blog
An Octogenarian in the modern world

HYPER-CRITICAL

Why is it that I disregard so many of the enticements to read books that I see promoted on twitter? Is it because there are so many that I could never tackle them all? Is it because I assume that promotional material always lies? Is it because I am jealous of people with the skill to promote their books – a skill that I obviously don’t have?

I suspect that a major cause is age, and the way fashions and ideas repeat themselves in a cycle of about fifteen years. When you have watched that cycle three or four times you expect little novelty. And if you really enjoyed the first rendering that you came across, then subsequent efforts seem less good. I still return every few years to King Solomon’s Mines and find the story of discovering an unknown world just as good as modern space fiction. The technology is massively different, of course, but the theme is the same. There is some truth in the biblical claim that “There is nothing new under the sun”.

Yet different generations do add value to a story because the writers can’t avoid making choices that originate in their own personalities, and those personalities are shaped by the times they live in. So the many re-tellings of the Arthurian Legend are all different, and for me the Mary Stewart books are as good as any.

So maybe age is a form of intellectual trap, making one over-critical of the way young people embrace what seems to them to be new. It seemed ‘new’ to me when I was twenty, but that was an illusion. It was already ‘old’ when I embraced it as ‘new’. So perhaps I need to recognise my prejudices and take over some younger mind. I need to become a mind-snatcher. How can I do that?

One Response to “HYPER-CRITICAL”

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