The Existential Dryness of Historical Fiction Paperbacks
RND/ to consider the extreme existential dryness of (inherently old) Historical Fiction paperbacks, so utterly dessicated in their very conception that even billygoats are unable to digest them. The textual equivalent of an intensely annoying, hacking dry cough experienced while pushing an old squeaking cart of dead, ungrateful wooden peasants uphill.
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Every second hand book / charity shop in the land features several, lightly foxed and long abandoned copies of these cosmically dull, dried out meisterwerks, which almost always feature an old ring, a sword, a crest or a seal. Or some grand nautical vessel style bullshit in full sail. Rogering the cabin boy for 6000-odd pages, etc. Garish, often silvery typefaces announce the brain searingly dull contents therein. While the intended effect is to install a sense of epic scale and adventures bold and true, the narrative innards feel as parched as a stale fart listlessly floating over a desert sand dune in the uncaring, affectless gaze of an alien midday sun. “Blah blah in an age where extra manly All-White men did wholesome dangerous things in / for officially sanction his-story.”
Zzzzz.. who the hell reads such deadening doorstops anyhow? Why do they love Garabaldis so much? It seems one would get far more genuine narrative excitement via accidentally sticking one’s nuts in a golfball cleaner than deliberately forcing oneself to plough through such infinitely mediocre mountains of inherently laborious, reactionary Conservative time dust. Rose-tinted vaseline smeared on the scratched historical time lens, deliberately out of focus. In which merely thinking about such novels and their hammy, overwritten ways reminds one of endless stretched Sunday afternoons around your Uncle’s house, stuffed with strictly enforced social rules, Mother’s chintz and cat fir – cloying memories of lavender and pipe tobacco stink wafting among endless shelves stuffed full of such crap grimoires somehow still overpowering. A slow, papery death had by all.
Of course conceptually speaking the only genre of writing worse then historical fiction novels is Military Science Fiction.
Example Reference Links
- Why and How I Teach With Historical Fiction
- Why Historical Fiction Will Never Go Away
- 5 Reasons To Read Historical Fiction
- The Historical Novel Society
- Garibaldi biscuit
- Becoming the Emperor: How Marguerite Yourcenar reinvented the past
> I wholeheartedly recommend “Memoirs of Hadrian”, if you haven’t already read it. Grace Frick’s translation is fluent and lyrical.
> Love, Alejandro
– What a polite and considered email response to such a dismissive post!
// how to play big science