Ernest Hemingway once said “All American literature comes from one book by Mark Twain called Huckleberry Finn. There was nothing before. There has been nothing as good since.” As much as we love our Ernest, we beg to differ. It’s not just the amazing books Americans have written, which cause us to contradict Papa’s viewpoint. It’s the words of wisdom these masters have shared about their craft.
Science fiction is actually loads older than you think. In fact, its origins can be traced all the way back to the epic poems of the early Greeks. These wonderful tales, which featured a huge variety of gods and monsters meet during fantastic voyages to far-off worlds have many parallels even with today’s sci-fi. Jason’s journey aboard the Argo, for example, may have taken place in the Mediterranean, but could equally have happened in deep space. Jason, guided by a talking beam built into the Argo which could represent an early prototype of HAL or Mother, captained his ship and crew through encounters with incredible creatures such as the six-armed giants, the Gegenees, the Clashing Rocks and the Stymphalian Birds, with feathers made of pointed bronze.
Ever wondered why great writers write? One answer comes from a most unlikely source, Charles Bukowski, the man Time called a “laureate of American lowlife” Better known for his soulful cynicism than philosophising, Bukowski’s words remind us of a great truth. Contrary to the tortured-genius myth, to create is to celebrate rather than bemoan life.
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