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Where are the modern Jane Austins and the modern Emily Bronte's? And where the dickens is our Charles Dickens?

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In reply to an earlier post on 9 Feb 2013 21:37:21 GMT
Last edited by the author on 9 Feb 2013 21:38:50 GMT
Obelix says:
'200 years after Pride and Prejudice was published we should all be asking where is the modern Jane Austen?'


'Where is a book for our times about our manners and morals and loce [sic] lives that people will hold up in 200 years time and say "wow!That was good.Let's make a tv series out of it that will sell all around the world." '

I don't think the measure of book actually is how well it televises.

"And what about Emily Bronte:are there no wild men like Heathcliffe roaming the moors?"

Ask the police. They tend to take a less romantic view of them.

'Has soceity [sic] broken down so badly that there are no clearly defined patterns of behaviour or morals to wirte [sic] about.'

I'm not going to point out the irony here.

'Is no one suffering internally enough for us to care about them? Or is the suffering so great we dont want to hear about it?'


'And where is our Dickens?'

Same place he's been since he was buried.

'Who is leaving a lasting chronicle of the poor?'

Off the top of my head, I'd cite Andrew O'Hagan's The Missing as a good example. Perhaps your net of research could do with being cast a little further.

'Who is making us think of christmas past?'

Every Christmas present, usually. And radio 2.

In reply to an earlier post on 9 Feb 2013 09:45:24 GMT
Maybe this'll do...The View From Kleoboulos

Posted on 9 Feb 2013 09:31:17 GMT
Going back to the OP, I cannot see the difficulty in finding excellent current British authors writing about contemporary mores and social issues. I would suggest a browse through the bibliographies of any of the following:

Ian McEwan, Martin Amis, Julian Barnes, Graham Swift, Irvine Welsh, Zadie Smith, Monica Ali, Anne Enright, Ali Smith.

Nineteenth century authors did not have to compete with alternative communication methods such as film and television, both of which tackle the same themes. I am thinking particularly of the films of Ken Loach, Mike Leigh, Shane Meadows and the excellent Tyrannosaur (Paddy Considine).

Posted on 9 Feb 2013 00:49:43 GMT
A wise man once penned ". . . there is nothing either good or bad, but thinking makes it so."

In reply to an earlier post on 8 Feb 2013 23:10:38 GMT
G. Walkden says:
But what you were saying is that art isn't subjective. Is that really what you think?

In reply to an earlier post on 8 Feb 2013 23:06:07 GMT
gille liath says:
Thanks for expounding my last post at greater length.

Posted on 8 Feb 2013 23:05:22 GMT
G. Walkden says:
I'm sorry to butt in but it's difficult not have an opinion on this subject. To imply that any music from the last 20-years isn't going to live on is completely ludicrous. I'm going to have to quote Homer Simpson referring to modern bands - "...why do they bother, everyone knows that rock attained perfection in 1974." - now that was a comedy series highlighting the fact of how ridiculous it is to objectify something that is so subjective. Everyone loves the music they first heard in their late teens or early twenties, and by the time they reach their mid-thirties they're probably inclined to dismiss anything new without properly listening. It's true that at this moment the pop charts are dominated by drab acts with a lack of depth (in my opinion, but I'm beginning to sound like Homer now), but that doesn't necessarily mean that there isn't music out there that will live on and has just as much validity as anything from the previous decades. And this too applies to new literature. Art is subjective, what one person likes, another hates and that is its greatest strength in my opinion. I think Dickens was a truly great storyteller and had some excellent themes, although, if I'm honest I don't particularly like his writing style (it was of that era and that's fine). But my point is, that to simply state outright that no bands of the last 20-years will live on in the future is probably the most narrow-minded, self indulgent thing I've ever heard. (By the way I'm not a young man who thinks music today is fab). Thing's change, fashions change and in art, one man's opinion isn't law - and thank Christ for that!

In reply to an earlier post on 8 Feb 2013 21:57:21 GMT
gille liath says:
That's the stock argument, and it amounts to saying that a) if something is said often it can't be true, b) the art of all ages is equal - which is the same as saying that there is no difference between good and bad. I don't accept either of those propositions.

Posted on 8 Feb 2013 21:53:41 GMT
Sou'Wester says:
As regards today's music I'm too out of touch to really judge. However, both within "serious" and "popular" music (and other culture) it's long been the habit to dismiss contemporary material as lacking in depth or quality, and yet, with the passage of time, that same material can sometimes attain revered and classic status. Of course, as in the past, most stuff will soon be forgotten, but I very much suspect that some material that we dismiss today (or may not even be aware of) will gain a similar status amongst future generations.

In reply to an earlier post on 8 Feb 2013 21:09:51 GMT
Go to Awesome Indies.

In reply to an earlier post on 8 Feb 2013 19:48:54 GMT
Last edited by the author on 8 Feb 2013 19:53:36 GMT
gille liath says:
Well, that's not really 'living on' is it? Not in the sense you originally meant. Of course anything can be artificially preserved in a museum, or on a uni course.

I think it's extremely unlikely any of today's music will still be attracting new fans in future decades - that's really the test. Partly because of the fragmented demand side; partly because of the overcrowded supply side; partly because the quality just isn't there.

Those, I believe, are the relevant parallels with book publishing.

In reply to an earlier post on 8 Feb 2013 15:56:37 GMT
I Readalot says:
He was about 5 when he watched it, the age it is intended for. In general though I think that Kipling's language is quite difficult for children, probably why most of them read The Jungle book in the adapted versions rather than the original.

In reply to an earlier post on 8 Feb 2013 15:41:38 GMT
Sou'Wester says:
Absolutely. It's also true that a great deal of literature that was highly regarded in its day is now little known outside academic circles - and the same is true of music. It's almost impossible to tell now what examples of contemporary culture will survive, but some will do so if only to satisfy our natural curiosity about the past.

Posted on 8 Feb 2013 15:35:40 GMT
Fiona Hurley says:
There was a lot of rubbish literature written in the 19th century. The books that we still read are (by definition) those that have stood the test of time.

In reply to an earlier post on 8 Feb 2013 15:28:49 GMT
Sou'Wester says:
Don't wish to be rude to your son, but Disney should have been boiled in oil for what he did to Kipling!

In reply to an earlier post on 8 Feb 2013 12:57:00 GMT
Last edited by the author on 8 Feb 2013 12:58:23 GMT
I Readalot says:
Dickens? Don't you mean Kipling? My son didn't like the book at all, although he did enjoy the Disney film version.

In reply to an earlier post on 8 Feb 2013 12:36:49 GMT
I Readalot says:
It is as difficult to speculate about music as literature. Who would have thought that music from the 60's and 70's would still be played today? I wonder how many people believed that The Who, Stones, Pink Floyd, to name but 3 would still be listened to in the 21st C. There is a lot of disposable rubbish out there but there are also a lot of good bands producing great music that is relevant to the times.

Posted on 8 Feb 2013 12:01:31 GMT
If i could spell i would write a book. This is why i read , the best book ,That is jungle book never mind the rest. For young and old ,the children love to be told the story , and we the elder love to read it to read it to them . ......Good old Charles Dickens.

In reply to an earlier post on 8 Feb 2013 11:31:30 GMT
You'd be surprised. I hear a lot more Michael Jackson tracks more than I do the Peer Gynt Suite. Classics in music are the same as classics in literature. They attain their classic status through education. No doubt if the Birdie Song found its way into the National Curriculum, and every child was forced to study it to attain a qualification - it would live on.

In reply to an earlier post on 8 Feb 2013 11:18:39 GMT
Anita says:
Seasick Steve as one possibility, maybe... Gov't Mule?..

Oldfield? The Songs Of Distant Earth (To fit into the time frame...)

There is some good music, I think. Not necessarily you must like it ;)

Posted on 8 Feb 2013 10:28:09 GMT
G. D. Buxton says:
NONE. You will be lucky if it last more than a year thanks to shows like x factor.

In reply to an earlier post on 8 Feb 2013 09:46:41 GMT
gille liath says:
What music from the last 20 years is going to live on?

Posted on 8 Feb 2013 07:54:56 GMT
Sou'Wester says:
I don't agree that there will be no place for "timeless" artists in the future; it may well be that new forms of communication may actually help their longevity. For example, composers such as Mozart, Haydn and Beethoven have benefited from the advent of recorded music; previously their work would only have been heard by a small proportion of the population and even then an individual might hear a particular work only once or twice in a lifetime. Now practically anyone can listen to a vast range of music any time they want. It's true that the advent of recording also allowed a great deal of inferior music to proliferate, but that soon gets forgotten while the good stuff lives on. Parallels here, I think, with what's happening in publishing.

Posted on 7 Feb 2013 21:36:59 GMT
Anita says:
monica - gl

;) ;)

In reply to an earlier post on 7 Feb 2013 20:02:08 GMT
Last edited by the author on 7 Feb 2013 20:14:26 GMT
LEP says:
I thought that I had answered it, at least re. Dickens and Austen and Cathy Come Home was a TV drama.

There are excellent modern authors, not necessarily using the same themes as Austen, Dickens and the Brontes (although I think there are Dickens out there showing what's wrong with society), but they are there. Surely awards such as the Booker list are for the purpose of highlighting best novels/authors.
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Discussion in:  fiction discussion forum
Participants:  19
Total posts:  46
Initial post:  5 Feb 2013
Latest post:  9 Feb 2013

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