Novelty

Dear Dazai,

Art should be new. Ever changing.

There is little patience for art that has been and gone. Shakespeare is old news, Dickens stifling and Austen experiencing a populist resurgence, not for her own work, but for the ease with which it can be transfigured for a modern audience.

We forget that all these things were once new. Once excitable, unexpected and completely novel. We forget these things. Forget their existence.

This craving for novelty, for that newness, means that things are lost. Books, movies, TV shows, all destroyed, either by people, or simply by the passage of time. Their necessity long since expired.

We fear that as people. That the day will come, when we ourselves, no longer offer something novel. That our necessity will thus expire. For continued existence is often not enough to be considered worthwhile. We must continue to offer something new, something that people are looking for.

Results determine our worth. It is not the journey that is important, it is how where we arrive. Few want to hear of the struggles, everyone wants to hear how we triumphed. Except that we don’t.

We don’t want to hear about the triumphs because they’re often more alien to us than the struggles. Our triumphs are our walls, the ones we build to separate ourselves from the masses, but it is our struggles that make us relatable. There is a need to share the weakness, to understand, to empathise.

For if triumph, if novelty, is all we focus on, we become the automatons that we fear we are. The faceless crowd.

Occasionally it is worth remembering that novelty does not guarantee anything, including novelty itself. We are all the same stories being retold in different settings and contexts.

xx

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