Monday, November 24, 2014
Age of Wisdom in English Literature
George Ritzer the sociologist, first time used the word McDonaldization exhibiting the Fast Food characteristics adopted by society. The four primary components identified by him have also moved in the Global Literature. The Harry Potter and 50 Shades of Grey are the McDonald of Literature.
McDonaldization is nothing but another kind of rationalization emphasizing change in traditions and cultural values. The shifting of values is not in the positive direction. Even though the nature is doing its best to teach the predicament of advancement, man is not yet ready to learn any cheap lesson. The question is who would pay the price of costly lessons? Obviously The Poorest class of the mankind would suffer the disasters created by nature, and the rich would get another chance of proving their generosity.
An eBook can be published much quicker than McDonald delivers Pizza at your doorstep. So far as writing a book is concerned, it is just like McDonald doesn't grow the potatoes to make McFries similarly authors, hunt for ideas and plot of the story in published or unpublished literature of other authors. If authors could only learn to grow their own potatoes, they would never be labeled as McDonaldised.
How many copies Sold? Is the first question when you talk about a book. The Sell has become synonymous with quality, while once it was believed that quality always suffers in the hands of quantity. Why otherwise Carlyle should say 'There are nine fools in the world for one wise man..."One should write what people want to read or one should write what he wants to write and should not bother if his work is accepted or rejected by society. Is there any responsibility to refine the taste of people on the creative artist?
Predictability is a great asset for any product to win the heart of the customer. A book having clichés like Love, Girl Friend, Boy Friend, Heart, Friendship, Break Up along with an enchanting book cover of boy and girl, holding hands, crying, the monogram of a broken heart or walking in different direction have become the success formulas in literature. Also, you have to encash the wave of theme or genre, if live-in relationship is in thing write about it and if semi-erotica is breaking the record of Sale, you must also try your hand on that. Many Indian Publisher would conform to the view that books are sold by name of the title and attractive cover design.
If we look further back at the post industrial revolution and the emergence of romanticism we realize that despite the advancement of science and technology man has remained spontaneous, irrational, imaginative and emotional. In the entire cosmos there is a cycle of the Age of Barbarianism, Age of materialism, Age of individualism, Age of industrialization, Age of enlightenment, Age of Romanticism, Age of rationalization and Age of Wisdom. We are only few centuries far from Age of Wisdom.
Literature is now mostly being read for entertainment. A novel is like a peanut you want to munch while travelling or waiting in a queue at the dentist. What we need is the De - McDonaldization of Literature. Micro-cosmos within man is harmonious with nature only when he shed off all that is artificial and learns to respect what is Original and Natural.
© Vipin Behari Goyal