What are themes that are still waiting for a great piece of literature to explore them?
To ask in another way, what themes do you feel are underrepresented in Literature
I think that term "theme" isn't really suitable for what you mean.
Some of the best books every written are not so much driven be "theme" as by being utterly immersed in the product of its time. Epistemologically, romantically, structurally and more: modernist books demonstrate a huge divide from their predecessors.
I think that if someone were to make a really nuanced and elegant book that incorporated the ubiquity of technology, materialism and consumptivism it would be really representative of the times.
It I find it genuinely disturbing that we've arrived at a time when services like tindr have utterly debased the traditional conception of sex and intimacy.
People literally go to take a shit and watch videos on their phone or start swiping left or right. People will squeeze a turd from their asshole while they make a 3 second judgement on whether or not they want to hook-up with someone.
There's a lot of strange shit going on in modern society, more than enough to write about imo. Its just that we don't live in a time where truly great writing and reading is cultivated.
I agree. Modern society is getting fucking weird and complex and needs examination.
Building on that; modern society has commodificated everything, including people, whose entire identities are completely manufactured and sold to them by suited men in small boardrooms a thousand miles away.
The media machine controls nearly every aspect of our society; what puppet gets elected, what topics are able to talked about, what view of the world is most correct and pure, etc. You hear people say that we live in a police state but really we live in a media state.
A state where half the population has never completed a book, and is yet the most "educated" in history. A state where people will hate thy neighbor because talking heads on a flicking screen them to. A state where you can be fired, blacklisted, and socially ostracized within minutes of saying a six letter word.
Lots of shit to write about desu
The only real difference is that people in our society occasionally request proof. Surveillance is the true difference. But, now, a person wants to see everything for themself. People have always been perverse both sexually and morally. The same elements of control have used for thousands of years. But, the question becomes: When you can see and read everything that everyone ever has written, and they can all do the same, what do you feel is worth publicly writing about?
This isn't a bad idea but... I'm in film school and talk to people who want to write stories like this every other day and yet I haven't heard a single one that expresses something more than 'what's up with all this technology, eh?'.
I think with this theme it's easy to fall into a kind of 'kids these days and their phones..' attitude. There is a conceptual kernel in there though and I hope someone will manage to extract something from it.
I'm going to use that bit about Tindr on the toilet in my current story. It fits so fucking well.
Technology is essential to our IRL narrative, so it makes prefect sense that it should be essential to our fictional ones.
Every new piece of technology might do something previously unimaginable or "amazing" but in the end they all perform the same inadvertent but inevitable task of teaching us something new about ourselves as humans.
There are really three schools of thought:
>1)Technological change is a net good, even acknowledging the "bumps".
>2)Technological change might make things better from a purely rational standpoint, but the "bumps" are leading us towards something cold, inhuman and so on and so on.
>3) Technological change is grossly overrated and is just like a checklist of diseases to cure and more efficient ways to cull dopamine from the cerebrum.
It's difficult to say. Technology has not been a net bad in my opinion, it's more that, in making things easier for people -making things more entertaining and more "rationalized" and less difficult to acquire- society and structure just push people towards really not trying that hard. "All Watched Over By Machines of Loving Grace" and paranoid stuff aside it's true.
The worst part is that it's impossible to logically and/or heuristically separate what the positives of mass-scale, multi-use technology are from the negatives.
This debate article has an asinine title I know, but it shows a key failure: we can't really decide or delineate what technologies are now necessary for survival and what is just bread and circus. What's really driving us insane is having to set limits and define sides here, and the two most prominent sides are both ass-dumb "Hands-Off STEM is great why question progress" bullshit and the other "muh generation muh hedonism muh moral values and social interaction" and what not.
The audience is 50/50 at the end. A debate first. Maybe they reflect the general population and maybe they don't but it seems very telling to me.
IJ is a masterpiece but it was written in the early 90s
Wallace literally died before the current wave of modernisation, late capitalism and other degenrate(inb4 go to bed Ignatius) had arrived.
Even the forementioned tinder which anons wrote about was itself created in 2012? or so, and it's the predecessor to all the contemporary online retardation of our society
People born in the 90s need a novel that covers detrimental promiscuity, stream of useless information, weird relation with ubiquitous online trash and our current fin de siecle, not Infinite Jest, or more like: not for these things. IJ is the way if you want to read about human condition and the consequences of early digitalisation.
Even though I myself read IJ at 19 and it was the best read ever, and I'm not even american
you're jumping to the conclusion that people don't realize they're throwing away romantic love or whatever, but really there's a layer of abstraction there that makes swiping while taking a shit a completely different act from what you're describing. It'd be like deriding someone who reads on the toilet for trying to feel an emotion while they're taking a shit
also it's spelled with an E
I'd like to think Douglas Coupland did a lot of that in JPod. It was a depressing novel for a number of reasons (one of them being that it wasn't very good), but it did address almost all of the themes you mentioned in a thought-provoking way (it also had a pretty cover which is why I bought it when I was 15).
>It’s a fact, I mused to myself, that in societies like ours sex truly represents a second system of differentiation, completely independent of money; and as a system of differentiation it functions just as mercilessly. The effects of these two systems are, furthermore, strictly equivalent. Just like unrestrained economic liberalism, and for similar reasons, sexual liberalism produces phenomena of absolute pauperization. Some men make love every day; others five or six times in their life, or never. Some make love with dozens of women, others with none. It’s what’s known as ” the law of the market”. In an economic system where unfair dismissal is prohibited, every person more or less manages to find their place. In a sexual system where adultery is prohibited, every person more or less manages to find their bed mate. In a totally liberal economic system certain people accumulate considerable fortunes; others stagnate in unemployment and misery. In a totally liberal sexual system certain people have a varied and exciting erotic life; others are reduced to masturbation and solitude.
the misunderstanding of science by the right wing religious american, explored through pynchon-esque investigations into a character whose goal is to redirect natural selection back towards the 2nd coming of christ it was intended to be, or, a contemporary break-up text to conservative blue-collar america.
silence is untouchable by entertainment
>What is ancient philosophy? Pierre Hadot makes very clear what he thinks it is not: it is not the deposit of philosophical concepts, theories and systems to be found in the surviving texts of Graeco-Roman antiquity, the subject matter of courses of study in the curricula of modern universities. This subject matter indeed does constitute the “philosophical discourse” of the ancient philosophers. But that discourse is itself merely the expression of what Hadot takes to be the essence of ancient philosophy which, in his view, is . way of life. In the author’s own words, “Philosophical discourse … originates in a choice of life and an existential option—not vice-versa … . This existential option, in turn, implies a certain vision of the world, and the task of philosophical discourse will therefore be to reveal and rationally to justify this existential option, as well as this representation of the world” (p. 3). Moreover, philosophy both as a way of life and as its justifying discourse is not the attainment and deployment of wisdom, but “merely a preparatory exercise for wisdom” which “tend[s] toward wisdom without ever achieving it” (p. 4). It is the primary purpose of this book to establish these claims for ancient philosophy as a whole by demonstrating it to be true of each of its major parts.
>if you're not a member of the American religious right, you're a 'left-winger'
>A state where half the population has never completed a book, and is yet the most "educated" in history
That's a very compelling irony in respect to our civilization. We're civilized but we possess no culture. Instead we call entertainment 'culture'.
The ideal book would probably explore the ironies of interconnectedness in the Age of The NEET.