Literary age 1: Man vs. Beast. Oral history has passed down through the prehistoric man the stories of heros standing up in the face of the dark things in the forest that want to drag our sick, young, and old away from our nightly fires and into the darkness. Or great hunters that return from the wild reaches of the world with the heads of monsters, tales of wonder, and the scars of immortality. Today this is present in Man vs. mountain, or street gangs, or a rival sports team, or a foamy mouthed demon possessed dog trapping you an your child in a car. Boewulf to Odysseus, these stories have been the driving force of using literature to forge the idea of 'hero' and solidify the place of man in nature, and identifying our fear of it. Our fear of death.
Age 2: The verticality. Or Dante. Dante reached up into the well of creation and made fiction a place worthy of the residence of god and all other higher thoughts of philosophy. It can be claimed that the myths of man predated dante but it wasn't until him the the sacred was able to be pulled down from its columns and dared to be stared at by the eyes of man. In the wake of him we had the hero's psyche being much more self aware. Ever since Dante we have used Fiction to define Mans' place in a loftier definition of reality.
Age 3: The horizontality. Or Shakespeare. Shakespeare threw open the gates wide and far on ever aspect of society from the personal (sex, lust, love, sanity, pride, identity, family, death, envy, time, legacy, vengence...) to the political (war, ambition, power, justice, nationality, kingship, tyranny, social equality...) After shakespeare fiction have been a much more all encompassing lense to see the world that Man created as a barrier between himself and nature, and an antithesis to god's own creation. Through him we can clearly see the walls created by our hands and where we stand within them.
So what's next. Are we done? We have the primeval driving force casting us forward. We have the range to go as high or as deep into the light or the darkness that shrouds the mysteries of our world. We have a wide angle scope to explore where we stand on the shores of our own paved and caffine fueled creation.
But then what? What is the fourth barrier to break and fling forth the consciousness of the masses through the divine art of the written word?
One of which I've had this discussion has suggested It's not the content that we have to break into next but the presentation. As in video games and Interactive media. (singularity)
Another has said the next step is a depth in the X-Y plane. A 'Z' axis that represents a plane of consciouness we are just not capable of seeing yet.
A third has insisted that the gambit has been run and we have our parameters. I wonder though.
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