Monday Apr 13 2015
There is something unsettling about a blank page, it seems to be more profound when you are viewing a backlit, LCD flat panel display blazing into your eyeballs. That’s one of the reasons I tend to write on paper first and find where the little rabbit hole leads this time, truth be told though, I have not written in a very long time on screen or not; but today was different.
Sporting a brand new kindle, I’ve been reading much more lately, and I still have books that I’ve bought previously using the kindle android app that showed up when I logged into the kindle. Among these was a book containing the full works of Edgar Allen Poe, including the ubiquitous “The Raven” and reading that led me down this particular rabbit-trail.
It occurred to me rather suddenly, that an awful lot of the pieces we consider truly iconic nowadays stem from the 1800s works ranging from The Raven to Shakespeare and thence even to Sherlock Holmes all took place during these years. Even Charles Darwin’s work on the theory of evolution stems from that period in time.
All this raised the question in my mind, what was different in those times that resulted in such a wealth of work and our own modern times, containing decidedly less ‘classics’.
Aside from the obvious distractions and changes in technology, like the internet, instant communication and television what really has changed?
I’m not talking in any literal sense here, perhaps a more metaphorical context, are we such a different people now as back then?
Is there something present in our minds now, that wasn’t there before; something that stops us being as creative as those in the 1800s ?
Whilst I was writing my thoughts on the paper copy however, an example of my point surfaced;
I literally stopped writing, and searched “What was it like to write in the 1800s?” and that, friends, perhaps tells the whole story…