HomeLatest ThreadsGreatest ThreadsForums & GroupsMy SubscriptionsMy Posts
DU Home » Latest Threads » Forums & Groups » Main » Editorials & Other Articles (Forum) » Our Favorite Cliche: A Wo... » Reply #1

Response to JHan (Original post)

Fri Oct 12, 2018, 01:14 PM

1. Author makes very sound points, thanks for a thoughtful article.

I like this excerpt and agree, I think we'd be much worse off without these literary contributions.

Now don't get me wrong: I am a big fan of cautionary tales! Nineteen Eighty-Four, Brave New World, On the Beach, Silent Spring, Fahrenheit 451, Soylent Green, Parable of the Sower... these all served up chilling warnings that helped to stave off the very scenarios they portrayed, by girding millions of viewers or readers to think hard about the depicted failure mode, and to devote at least some effort, throughout their lives, to helping ensure that it never comes to pass.

In fact the self-preventing prophecy is arguably the most important type of literature, since it gives us a stick to wield, poking into the ground before us as we charge into a murky future, exploring with our minds what quicksand dangers may lurk just ahead. This kind of thought experiment that Einstein called gedankenexperiment is the fruit of our prefrontal lobes, humanity's most unique and recent organ, the font of our greatest gifts: curiosity, empathy, anticipation and resilience. Indeed, forward-peering storytelling is one of the major ways that we turn fear into something profoundly practical. Avoidance of failure. The early detection and revelation of Big Mistakes, before we even get a chance to make them. While hardly in the same league as Orwell, Huxley, Bradbury, Carson, and Butler, I'm proud to be part of that tradition an endeavor best performed by science fiction.

Well said here:

But this doesn't explain the dreary ubiquity of contempt that seems to fill the vast majority of contemporary novels and films, depicting the writer's fellow citizens as barely smarter than tree frogs, in a civilization unworthy of the name.

Reply to this post

Back to OP Alert abuse Link to post in-thread

Always highlight: 10 newest replies | Replies posted after I mark a forum
Replies to this discussion thread
Arrow 2 replies Author Time Post
JHan Oct 2018 OP
LineNew Reply Author makes very sound points, thanks for a thoughtful article.
BeckyDem Oct 2018 #1
Me. Oct 2018 #2
Please login to view edit histories.