I love when a great story first comes out, and people appreciate it. But I know when all is said and done that this original piece of art will be stuck on repeat. Before long someone will take that idea and make 3 more of a similar story, squeezing out every ounce of original thought. But can anything be truly original? Since God is the ultimate Creator, when we create aren’t we just remixing the stories and meanings He has already constructed? Are my expectations too high when Pride and Prejudice and Zombies doesn’t do it for me?
What makes a story still great even if it’s similar to hundreds of other packaged ideas? I submit that if it is creative and inspiring, and if it elevates us out of the abasement of life it is great art. Though I have yet to specify what these ambiguous criterions mean, I am starting the groundwork.
What I see much of today is the reveling in man’s abasement.
For example the King Arthur chronicles have been done and redone. Some of them are good and some of them are bad. However, if you read the narrative in Tennyson’s Idylls of the King it is not the same story. Gareth when deciding to follow King Arthur, despite his mother disapproval, says:
“How can ye keep me tether’d to you-Shame.
Man am I grown, a man’s work must I do.
Follow the deer? follow the Christ, the King,
Live pure, speak true, right wrong, follow the King-
Else, wherefore born?”
When I read that paragraph I feel a sense of honor and empowerment.
Consequently, when compared to the retelling of the King Arthur story in 2004, the film is found wanting. The film is half mythical legend and half war tail. Many critics agree that though the story itself has a lot of potential, it doesn’t follow through on the opportunities.
Why is it that the same story can leave a person changed, but can also be forgotten in a moment?
Tennyson, Alfred Tennyson. Idylls of the King. Harmondsworth, Middlesex: Penguin, 1983. Print