The Importance of Literary Trash

The Importance of Literary Trash

Length: 653 words (1.9 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Excellent

Open Document

Essay Preview

More ↓


The Importance of Literary Trash

 

I've heard it said that the goal of "serious literature" is to illuminate the human condition. If that is the case, the error of serious literature is that it is far too simple-minded and attempts to illuminate the human condition by portraying it directly. The great strength of myth, legend and their modern-day successor trashy genre fiction is that they don't just show us the human condition, but interpret, highlight and contrast it by showing us the larger than life symbols. The courage and romance that allows us to survive and to savor daily life are the core of myth and genre. There they are made larger than life and inspire us to aspire to a greatness that goes beyond simple daily experience.

 

The other failing of modern "serious literature" is the failing of all modern art: art for art's sake. Modern art far too frequently is nothing more than the artist showing off the techniques they would use if they were ever to create a true work of art. And so we see the sense of color that they would use if they ever a picture and so on. Technique becomes all important and content is eschewed as distracting from the true art, meaning the simple skills and techniques.

 

An irony of this great "art for art" mistake is that one of its first and most eloquent spokesmen, Theophile Gautier, put forth his position in the introduction of his romantic novel "Mademoiselle de Maupin", whose title character whose adventurous life would make a rip-roaring and thoroughly trashy adventure novel, if only the author had wished to actually tell a story. Jessica Amanda Salmonson, in her introduction to "Amazons II", gives us a two-page summary of the life, loves, and adventures of the historical "La Maupin", actress, duelist and lover that is both exciting and tantalizing, and which has at least as much plot in its 2 pages as Gautier's novel.

 

 

Stephen Donalson claimed at the second World Fantasy Convention (or was it the third?) that he never read any non-fiction because all of the great insights that people told him they got from non-fiction works he had found long before in fictional tales. From context, it was clear that much of that fiction was fantasy and science fiction. While I won't go as far as Donalson, his point is similar to my own.

How to Cite this Page

MLA Citation:
"The Importance of Literary Trash." 123HelpMe.com. 05 Apr 2020
    <https://www.123helpme.com/view.asp?id=13076>.

Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »

Importance of Iliad as Modern Teaching Tool Essay

- Importance of Iliad as a Modern Teaching Tool The passing of works from generation to generation is not an uncommon thing, nor is it a new practice. For centuries, even since the beginning of time, scholars have recorded and passed on historical accounts, works of art, poetry, and great literary works as a means of transcending the culture from one generation to the next. In doing so, these works were not merely used for leisurely purposes, rather as a way to teach and educate different lessons, morals, and values....   [tags: Papers]

Research Papers
1452 words (4.1 pages)

The World as a Wasteland in Post-Apocalyptic Literature Essay

- For years, post-modern writers have foreshadowed what the end of the world would look like through dramatic representations in literary works. Cormac McCarthy’s The Road and Margaret Atwood’s novel, Oryx & Crake, are no exception to this. Delving into the complexities that underlie man’s existence on Earth, these authors use their novels as vehicles to depict a post-apocalyptic world, in which all that once was is reduced to an inconceivable wasteland, both figuratively and literally. From the beginning, McCarthy establishes a stage for his readers with a beautifully worded yet painstakingly morose description of the wasteland in which his characters occupy: “Nights dark beyond darkness and...   [tags: Literary Analysis]

Research Papers
1869 words (5.3 pages)

Stopping the Clock: An Argument for the End of Age and Trash Discrimination

- Trash and aging go hand in hand. Take for example a pair of shoes. When a person uses a pair of shoes consistently, the soles will begin to wear down and holes begin to form. A person may repair the sole and patch up the holes, but eventually there comes a time when the well-worn shoe is beyond repair and it is time to chuck them in the trash bin. Trash is made up of things that have aged to the point of uselessness; things that have become undesired and worthless. A person can easily tell when an item is no longer of use to them, but controversy ensues when a person attempts to determine when a human being begins to lose their usefulness....   [tags: aging, trash, relationships, elderly]

Research Papers
1948 words (5.6 pages)

Unvalued Bodies in Rosenberg's "Dead Man's Dump" and Hughes' "Ruby Brown"

- ... When one thinks of a ‘dump’ they are immediately filled with disgusting imagery and ideas of rotting garbage and revolting smells. A dump literally means, “a site for depositing garbage” (New Oxford American Dictionary), which leads the reader to automatically connect the bodies of the fallen soldiers to meaningless pieces of trash tossed away after they were no longer needed, or useful. The bodies in Rosenberg’s poem are presented as being meaningless. By calling the bodies a “souls’ sack,” (Rosenberg 24) the emphasis and importance is not placed on the body, but on the soul....   [tags: literary analysis, poem, gender, context]

Research Papers
923 words (2.6 pages)

Essay on Importance Of Literacy

- The Importance of Literacy Literacy is a powerful and important skill that every person should have the chance to learn. Literacy allows a person to have a successful career and education, communicate with other people, and form and express educated opinions and thoughts. The struggles of an illiterate person are shown in an excerpt from “Learning to Read and Write,” which was written by a former slave, Fredrick Douglas. Throughout the excerpt, Douglas describes the many obstacles and hardships he faced while learning to read and write....   [tags: Writing, Literacy, Communication, Reading, Want]

Research Papers
1141 words (3.3 pages)

Importance Of Literacy And Literacy Essay

- If a child is a seed, then the education he receives is the water that helps him bloom into a flower. In a country of one billion almost half of the citizens are uneducated and illiterate. The thing that I feel strongly about and which should be eliminated is the lack of education and literacy. Literacy and education are similar yet two very different concepts. Literacy is the ability to read and write. How ironic it is to be a part of the country where right to education is a fundamental right but half of the country’s population can’t even spell their own name....   [tags: Literacy, Education, Multimedia literacy]

Research Papers
1727 words (4.9 pages)

Essay on The Importance of Literacy

- Have you ever though what is the relationship of term “literacy” in your life. Within today’s teaching practices literacy has come to be a major part of the course curriculum when teaching early years. It has numerous definitions and meanings to individual people as it continues to be developed through our rapidly changing world. My understanding of literacy “has to do with having the skills and knowledge to create, locate, analyze, comprehend and use a variety of written, visual, aural and multi-model texts for a range of purposes, audiences and contexts.” Literacy is far more than reading and writing, it also involves critical thinking where it tests someone’s understanding of a balanced...   [tags: Literacy Essays]

Research Papers
1310 words (3.7 pages)

Essay on The Importance Of Literacy

- Rita Mae Brown describes literacy as, "a social contract, an agreed upon representation of certain symbols" (420). If the symbol's (letters) meanings are not agreed upon by those attempting to communicate, then interpreting one another becomes difficult. Simply stated, literacy is very important. Society has proven time and time again, it will reward those individuals who are competent and impede those who are not, whether expressed in terms of employment opportunities (job success) or just on a social level....   [tags: Literacy Essays]

Free Essays
990 words (2.8 pages)

Essay on The Importance of Distinction in Literary Theory and Criticism

- It has been said, From the hour of the invention of printing, books, and not kings, were to rule the world. Weapons forged in the mind, keen-edged, and brighter than a sunbeam, were to supplant the sword and battle-axe. Books. lighthouses built on the sea of time. Books. by whose sorcery the whole pageantry of the world's history moves in solemn procession before our eyes. From their pages great souls look down in all their grandeur, undimmed by the faults and follies of earthly existence, consecrated by time (Whipple 386)....   [tags: Literature]

Research Papers
1353 words (3.9 pages)

Essay on The Importance Of Literacy

- Literacy as by definition is the knowledge or competency one knows in a specific area. Using this I interpret Literacy as how to understand situation and unexpected circumstances. Until very recently, maybe within the past year in a half, I never had to apply how I understood Literacy in a manner in which others could understand it. I failed to realize at that time that not everybody felt or thought the same way I did. It was especially difficult during this time as I began to possess a leadership role in many of the extracurricular activities I was apart of such as band and in my UIL events as the upper classmen I had known and who held some of those responsibilities were suddenly gone....   [tags: Knowledge, Learning, Understanding, Literacy]

Research Papers
1021 words (2.9 pages)

Related Searches

Trashy fiction, to my eye at least, illuminates the human condition and reveals fundamental truths at least as well as "serious literature" or non-fiction and does it so much more enjoyably.

 

There is a fundamental snobbery in the "pure art", "serious literature" and "art for art's sake" that strikes me as not only arrogant, but just plain wrong-headed. Somehow we are made to feel that the "true artist" creates solely as an expression of his art and not for baser motives such as making a living, and that his art is a pure expression of his creativity. Someone who stoops to illustrate books or stories is a mere craftsman or prostitutes his art to crass commerciality. Yet many, if not most of the great artists were have always been commercial artists, from the great masters: da Vinci, Michaelangelo, and Rembrandt, to people such as Rockwell, Toulouse-Lautrec, Wyeth, or genre artists like Tenniel, St. John, Foster, Raymond, Hogarth, Petty, Frazetta and Olivia DeBerardinis. Artists like Charles Dana Gibson, though "mere" illustrators and not "serious artists", change the world around them as do writers like Wilde, Wells, and Asimov. They speak to our core beings and change how we see the world. When they are dead and safely gone we raise them up as "classics", yet we shun their modern colleagues.

 

And so, I prefer trash: adventure novels, romances and bodice rippers, science fiction and fantasy, tales of the Old West, comic books and B-films, illustration and pin-ups.

 
Return to 123HelpMe.com