dilbert: the ultra-rationalist modern scientific man who likes to justify his creepy fixations on children's entertainments and sexualised animals by ... claiming ancient mythical pedigrees.
stories about some berk wandering around trimming hedges, or waiting for an inheritance are the aberration and will be forgotten.
except those incredibly boring tales, of peregrinations like chaucer's canterbury tales (1476) or bunyan's pilgrim's progress (1678), are still being read. and not a single superhero, magic power, evil villain, or wizard battle in either of them.
talk about berks trimming hedges: robinson crusoe (1719) and daniel defoe are still widely read, and they're 300 years old. entire chapters listing inventory on a desert island. the invention of prose realism and the novel in english. pages and pages of description without point. imagine! an antique predecessor to all those adventure movies, to be sure. there was even a tom hanks one! clearly a lot of people are very bored by tales of ordinary people. the book could be much improved if a nubile actress in hotpants turned up and started deflecting evil nazi bullets from her mythical bracers.
i guess you're talking about jane austen-style bourgeois novels re: 'waiting for inheritances'. well, people are still regularly LARPing around bath's royal crescents in austen costume and tuning in to watch lurid television adaptations of the same tales (see Bridgerton), 200 years after publication.
how long is it until these things are meant to be forgotten? books which took as their subject pedestrian, ordinary lives are justly celebrated in their national literatures. boccaccio's decameron was a prosy trundle through local folk intrigues and day-to-day happenings in the era of the black death. that's 650 years old. it's still considered one of the 3 or 4 'essential' pieces of italian literature, celebrated precisely, in fact, because it gave the italians a sense of themselves, it being the first work written in the vernacular italian and not clerical latin, and it being about 'berks trimming the hedges' and not the high fantasy superhero epic the church were stuffing down their throats.
even outside of the western perspective and canon, and our publishing history, in korea the most famous set of tales in their national history is literally about 'berks wandering around'. it's called the chunhyangjeon and tells the tale of a bunch of low-caste outsiders wandering around the countryside, reflecting on and satirising social mores, as well as the iniquities and hypocrisies of the confucian class system. these stories have been in circulation since at least the 1600s, and every literate schoolkid is familiar with them or the character archetypes (much like commedia dell'arte's stock characters, our dear pierrot).
how many of the MCU universe movies do you think are going to last for 500+ years, mate? can you even name me the top comic superheroes or -villains from 100 years ago? of the 1920s? are you intimately familiar with captain blood and count orlok? whatever happened to 'bumba the jungle boy' or 'moon maid', anyway? because a lot of people know who robinson crusoe is. a lot of people are still very passionate about dashing mr. darcy or young david copperfield. about the only old comic characters i can recall are tintin, popeye and bunch of sub-lovecraftian monsters.
i think, considering the material evidence in our common culture, that the pressure of 'surviving the test of time' is entirely on the pulpy and forgettable comic franchises, tbh. novels and tales of unfortunately ordinary people’s travails seem to be in rude health after half a millennium or more. it’s likely they would have always been perennial interests if there had actually been vernacular language printing presses to distribute them, not to mention literate audiences to receive them, derp.
Last edited by uziq (2022-10-10 06:52:43)