Intellectual Vacuum leads to Neurosis of What it Takes to be a Classic

Essay by red15 June 2005

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Call it the intellectual breakdown of the 21st century. It seems we live in an age where serious authors are shunned and their books burned. Obviously today's ignorant and stupid men and woman can't read a book that is just above their IQ level or perhaps one filled with words that they can't, won't understand. These people want a book to be filled with simple words for their simple minds, and if one is too much for them, well let's just say the words "must...destroy" come to their minds. Truly heart-breaking is to see modern-day novels such as Card's Ender's Game and Brown's The Da Vinci Code compared to great works such as Mangham's Of Human Bondage and Eliot's Middlemarch when, in fact, they aren't (in a manner of speaking) fit to lick the bootlaces of either of the latter. This same "breakdown" seems to hurt Renault's The Bull from the Sea as much as it hurts my love for the literary world.

Its writing is often too well written, contains too many "smart" words for the more...blockheaded members of society. And that saddens me, for the time of true classics is dead, and the age of phony ones, upon us.

Unlike most novels nowadays, Renault doesn't simple stick to one style when writing her novel. No doubt the ones who do this are trying to appease the shallow masses. All I can say is "thank god Renault doesn't." Her writing has a uniqueness of its own, one that is hard to explain. Short, long, flowing, and abrupt sentences all appear throughout out the novel. Descriptive at times, vague too, it all gathers into a well thought-out and appealing story that is pleasing to the ear, and refreshing to the mind. But this novel is too refreshing; most would say...