Everything published after 1940 is inauthentic. To explain why I’m going to introduce my own “three-legged stool” theory of successful literature. The three legs are thrills, wonder, and romance.
Thrills, because no one wants to read a story where nothing exciting happens. Adventure, heh! Excitment, hrumph! A jedi maybe isn’t supposed to crave these things. But everyone else sure does!
Wonder, because no one would settle for a mere story when they could instead experience a legend. An epic, even. An encounter with something truly mythical! Underworlds, overworlds, gods, and heroes are fundamental to the human psyche. People crave encounters with the superlative and the transcendent.
And romance. Ah, romance! Because face it, there is only one thing that can truly motivate an adventurer to risk everything in a daring journey into the unknown. Sure, there are all kinds of other motivations out there you could think up. But this one trumps them all!
What happened in 1940?
In a word, modernism. A tepid materialist outlook that decreed that the transcendent was out of bounds. An unctuous, slinking cowardice that insinuated that all heroes have feet of clay. A smarmy, contemptuous pretentiousness that insisted that our concepts of good and evil were arbitrary social constructs.
These losers rolled into town and kicked away the old stool. They declared it juvenile. They sneered. They mocked. They made a lot of noise about their “literary qualia” and the supposed deficiencies of their predecessors. They beat their chests and gave each other awards. And then they went on a decades long crusade in order to ensure that people couldn’t even imagine what the old stuff was like. And they made a new stool: instead of thrills, wonder, and romance, they gave us lectures, “realism”, and a celebration every conceivable evolutionary dead end you could mention.
But on a fundamental level, that stuff really doesn’t speak to who we are. They thought they could take the reins of culture and write whatever they wanted on the supposed blank slates of our minds. Yet time and again in field after field we see the same pattern: the greater the success of these sorts of people, the more astonishing the ensuing market correction.
They told us we were on the wrong side of history. But all this time it’s been them that had this distinction. And watching this play out, it’s clear: those “childish” stories of the ancient Greeks that we’ve told and retold over the course of centuries…? They’re far more applicable to describing what is actually happening in the wide world than anything the Poindexters have managed to put forward.