Some people call the interweb the "information highway"; however, I think with all this blogging going on, plus the billions of websites being created every second (that's right, every second[that's right, I made that up]) a more apt analogy would be a "bullshit parking lot." So here I am, adding to the Litter (ature?) of the 21st century, a litterature that is apparently revolutionizing how we think, act, socialize, communicate. De-centering and de-stabilizing the world as we know it, the people are taking the power back (did we ever lose it?), and we've fallen (ass first) into Huxley's Brave New World. As Neil Postman argues, we are not being killed by what we hate (which would imply a 1984-style censorship of readable "stuff") but we are killing ourselves with what we love. The fear of having no-thing to read never crosses our (the average north American's) mind; but, does it cross our mind that the things we should read (which is a debatable topic in itself) are being drowned in a sea of irrelevance? Why are current PhD candidates writing disertations on lays chips advertisements and MTV music video lyrics? The topic of what we should read, i.e. a canon, is a hotly contested topic today, and perhaps rightfully so since most canons are usually dictated by the majority. I do not, as some would say, believe this is grounds to abolish the idea of a canon. The idea of a canon is good, but how it has been formed may not have been. I think the canon needs to exist, and today we have a flourishing of good writers from both genders, many races and religions. Of course, this does not negate that any individual's canon would be unique (mine for instance would rank The Silmarillion as one of the top books to read, which of course others might discard as useless trash (that's right, they'd be wrong!). Which leads me to perhaps a puzzling question: what constitutes "good" (what an ambiguous term) piece of fiction? Is it proximity to the Truth (which of course will need major defining)? or is it an adherence to a strict set of rules like Aristotle and the Medievals believed? Should it entertain? Should it teach? Should it do both?
I haven't given this topic nearly enough energy, but something tells me it is related to the ideas of my previous post: sub-creation. An interesting idea because it does not preclude non-Christians from Good writing (actually, in certain cases it would exclude Christians who are bad writers...again, the terms need definitions). Whatever the case, good fiction is a good sub-creation. The work is a coherent world that is logically and imaginatively consistent to whatever end it may come. Of course, the secondary world is linked to the primary world (ie. the world we walk around in with our heads in the clouds) through the author who exists in the primary world. He creates because, as I said earlier, he is reflecting the Light from whence he came, a whole new reality, the PRIME REALITY where God dwells in eternity. This reality is beyond sense perception (although the metaphysical poets have done their D---dest to communicate it) and is, according to Eliot (in one of the most beautiful poems of the 20th century (if not all time) a fustion of the fire of God's love in the staticity of eternity. IN my opinion, good fiction girded by the Christian worldview is superior to good fiction girded by any other worldview because it is "propaedeutic" in the right sense (a fancy word for "leading"). Bad Christian fiction, therefore, is far inferior to bad non-Christian fiction (I am here merely referring to the religious presuppositions of the sub-creator) since it not only is like a bitter drop on the palate, but it may falsely, mislead an audience from the true beauty that only Christianity renders.
Anyways, this blog has been derailed, but I thought I would add this last bit to end on a positive note after my negative rant about blogs. You may ask me if this is not hypocritical, and it is, but like Whitman once said "Do I contradict myself? Of course, I am large, I contain multitudes." Anywyas, I hope this last spoonful of sugar helped the medicine go down.
aka. the grinch
aka. mary poppins