Sunday, August 23, 2009

Ideologies Abound

Literary movements typically happen without an express intent to do so. Writers working under similar perceptions of the nature of language, writing, politics, society, or whatever else drives a writer to write, tend to create movements inadvertently by writing in similar fashion. Modernism was a response to the Romantic idealism of the 19th Century. Post-Modernism was a response to the traditionally-bound and structurally-minded artists of Modernism. This is the way of movements: the writers didn't intentionally try to create a movement; it just happened.

The "punk" movement in science-fiction is a good example of this. For very general information, you can look up cyberpunk and steampunk on Wikipedia (though the information is certainly less than exhaustive). Both of these movements were created in reaction to a previous way of thinking; both of them created a new movement that spawned a way in which to present a story.

I believe, however, that both of them are dead - or at least not progressing - movements. Cyberpunk has run its course. It's message has been stated, and the reaction has been made. Steampunk has also run its course, ideologically, though it is still around as an aesthetic. The stylized nature of the sub-genre has produced more than its fair share of fashion, movies, and styles. But it can be revived.

Why am I bringing this up? Because my current project lies in the attempt to recreate a new steampunk. The message of the first wave of steampunk has been sung; I think, though, that the environment can be kept and a new message inserted. So that's what I'm trying to do. I'm reading a fair amount of literature that I hope will inspire a new idea (one I already have in mind but wish to solidify) and some essays. When I'm done, it will either be a grand success or a very educational failure.

I'll keep everyone informed :-)

No comments: