Tim Kane Books

Everyone goes on and on about original ideas, yet the the notion of an original idea in art has only been with us for about one-hundred years. This concept was propagated by the Modernists who sought to abandon the superstitions and folklore of the past. These Modernists valued the strange and surreal over traditional storytelling. Novelists like James Joyce and William Faulkner wanted their stories to be difficult and complex. They thought that if the story were intricate, then it would supersede oral tradition. (Ironically, Joyce’s seminal work, Ulysses, modeled itself off of the Odysseus myth.) Even today, we look for originality as a sign that something is “good”.

Skipping to before the twentieth century, we see that folklore and tradition reign. People retold stories over and over again, in a game of telephone that lasted centuries. The myth of Odysseus wasn’t even written down for ages. People simply memorized…

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4 thoughts on “

  1. Judith Post says:

    Fun blog. What did they used to teach? That there are only 7??? or 20??? different kinds of plots. Can’t remember, but it means that being original just means putting your own spin on things.

    • yeltnuh says:

      Yes. I find this way of thinking to be liberating. That said, every “take” on an old idea is itself original. 🙂

  2. Tim Kane says:

    Thanks so much for the reblog.

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