Why compare when you can de-compare? A short discussion on the modern day fantasy literature when compared to old

The reason I chose this topic as my “return briefly to blogging” discussion is rather simple actually: I’ve seen reoccurring merit in visiting the topic that has been haunting the young and old minds alike, driving them insane because each and every single one of them has to be right for some reason. So, yeah. Not everyone will agree with my outlook on this topic but, to put it simply and honestly, I don’t give a single fuck.

Ever since, for some reason, young adult genre in the literature became kind of a norm for the most successful novels, we’ve been given this huge income of the young and quote un quote (yes) “well read minds” that continuously try to prove their worth by quoting citations of works that could have been written by the third grader if he had attention span that lasted longer than the duration of male’s orgasm. I will admit, though, while the novelty of the young adult novels worn off quickly on me, they do always give an easy read when not in a mood for anything all too complicated. Which brings me to the actual topic of this short-ish discussion with myself: why do people have this asserted need to compare works such as Harry Potter, The Hunger Games, Eragon and all kinds of other bullshit with The Lord of the Rings or The Chronicles of Narnia? I feel that the comparison falls flat on its heels by the simple premise of how these books were written. Since I’m far too lazy to get off my chair and actually open the books and make my point, I’ll just assume that you’ve read at least one of each side. The reason why I’m not including any of the other books is because these are being taken into the account the most.

I’ve already discussed Hunger Games on my little blog and I believe that I gave it enough words and proved my point by the end, but I’ll still use it somewhat here. My biggest gripe here, though, is that people that start these discussions are most often those that feel this some kind of a need to evaluate themselves against others and prove to them that they both stand on the equal ground. For some fucking reason.

Personally, I don’t have anything against these franchises aside from the fact that they’ve given every fucking teenager this stupid idea that they can write a book, but that’s beside the point. Eragon, upon its initial release, was celebrated as homage and a new spin to the classic Tolkien’s tale. What it came to be is a colossal piece of shit nobody even remembers anymore. Harry Potter, on the other hand, is a franchise that withstood the test of time, somewhat, mostly thanks to the movies, and has countless people around the globe celebrating it … for some fucking reason. In a nutshell, it’s a story of growing up with which many can relate, and it’s understandable, but when stripped of that and looked at simply by the literature standpoint, it’s just your average tale. The world is condensed to the point of being just fucking lazy, the story is, quite frankly, undeserving of seven fucking books, and it offered a little to the world of literature aside from the fact that it gave children one more book to read. My question is: why read Harry Potter when you can read The Chronicles of Narnia? It’s more compelling, deep and all-through better written series. Regardless, I’ll give Harry Potter one credit: it became kind of a starting point for young teens and kids of reading, which then should spiral them onward. What I can’t understand though is the inclusion of The Hunger Games in these discussions. The Hunger Games is the literal abomination (pun intended) undeserving of any praise it gets. It’s celebrated form of fanfiction, in the vein of, say, Twilight or Fifty Shades of Gray, which, for some god fucking reason, became a norm of the young adult novelty. What the fuck? When did simplification of things to the point where they become nauseating became a fucking norm? And, more importantly, why? I’d call back to some older works, like Milton’s, Shakespeare’s or even Dante’s Inferno, but it seems pointless because nobody probably even read more than two passages they were given in high school. Or even Beowulf.

Going back to my point is the fact that some people have this stupid need to compare some of the best written, if not THE best written fantasy books, with novelties written on a fly and put them on the equal footing. It’d be like saying that Beethoven and Rihanna both deserve equal amounts of praise. Which is not even funny. And Harry Potter and The Hunger Games are, unfortunately, some of the decent examples of mainstream writing. There are, of course, good high and epic and dark and young adult fantasies out there with decent writing, story-wise, character-wise, and actual writing-wise, but they are buried underneath the crap of wide-accepted mediocrity which is simply accepted because of its simplicity. I know I sound like a condescending and arrogant asshole, which, to be honest, I am, and am proud of it, but it’s indisputable. Comparing seven books set in fucking London and one sorta-big castle to a fantasy world which literally mimics our own and exceeds it in mythology of our own (at least when it comes to the quality) should be a fucking sin. A world and a story of that scope cannot be a measuring standard for simple stories. I wouldn’t even recommend comparing it and measuring it against A Song of Fire and Ice series and, without a doubt, it’s probably the only mainstream fantasy book with any decent depth. Then you’ll say that The Lord of the Rings and Harry Potter should not be compared and I agree – probably for all the different reasons, but I do.

Anyway, the point of this as it turns out not-so-short post is to simply express my concern regarding the abominable state of literature, at least mainstream one, today. If mainstream games, yes, you heard me right, are capable of creating better world, story and characters than the fucking writers, then maybe we should replace writers. To any and all concerns, I do disclaim that I really, really, don’t give a fuck what you think and you probably shouldn’t give a fuck what I think. If fantasy books keep getting any worse, then there won’t be a new bottom to reach – but, somehow, people always surprise me. Should we hold classics that reshaped the state of the literature as we knew it up on the unreachable pedestal? Yes. Why? Because they’re still unreachable. Until such book is written that sets a new standard for already formed works of either fantasy, sci-fi or any other genre, those books should be held up that high. Does that mean that, automatically, all other books after them are bad? Fuck no. Should that mean you can compare shitty fanfiction with a fundamental norm of fantasy writing? Fuck no.

Hope you enjoyed it, somewhat. And, again, yes, I am condescending and arrogant asshole. And I tried really, really hard to keep the sarcastic remarks and insults on the minimum in this piece. Just because, sometimes, I’m a good fucking guy.

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