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/lit/ - Literature


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13636788 No.13636788 [Reply] [Original]

Why did people write so much better a few hundred years ago?

>> No.13636810

They didn't.

>> No.13636811

>>13636810
Read any writer from the 1700s, they sound like geniuses today.

>> No.13636813

>>13636788
no computers
no television
no movies

>> No.13636814

>>13636811
You only know about the good authors from that era. All the bad ones are forgotten. Not a fair comparison.

>> No.13636818

>>13636814
No, I've read letters from the citizen of the day. For example, a woman who wrote to Kant. They are extremely literate.

>> No.13636825

>>13636818
Yes that's what I mean. You've read a letter written to one of the best writers of that era. As an incredibly smart person, he associated with incredibly smart people like himself. No one care about the letters written to the bad ones. A letter to Kant is not representative of an entire era.

>> No.13636830

>>13636788
Many of the especially erudite figures from the past you read had maids, servants, or slaves taking care of the toil needed to reproduce their lives, and had private tutors attending to them for the duration of their childhood. In addition, of course, there were fewer distractions, I suppose.

>> No.13636832

>>13636818
>>13636788
Only the upper class were literate. The quality of education back then was also much higher than what it is today.

>> No.13636833

>>13636825
You act if there is some 'bad writer' who happened to be wise but was never included, as part of the rule you've made that only smart people have been received. Again, you can find letters from all walks of life...

>> No.13636836

>>13636810
yes they did, you can read mundane letters from clerks which have more beautiful prose (not to mention handwriting) than anything written today.

The liberation of the working class, and their artificial uplifting onto the same pedestal as the upper and middle classes has resulted in a degeneration in the quality of many things including writing.

Everything is done to please the swelling masses of proletariat imbeciles who require very low benchmarks for absolutely everything.

>> No.13636839

education for everyone means good education for no one.

>> No.13636852

>>13636836
Where can you read them? Curious? I found this letter from a prisoner https://www.british-history.ac.uk/london-record-soc/vol42/pp1-34

>> No.13636853

>>13636833
Okay i see you're a little low on IQ. I'm not saying that. I'm saying that at every period in history there were good writers and bad ones. The good writers are remembered long after their death, the bad ones are forgotten. What that means is that given that you only hear about the good authors, you get the impression that everyone at the time must've been as good they were.

>> No.13636856

>>13636853
there is a very clear degeneration in the use of the English language

this isn't a matter of good and bad writers - the essence of the language has been dumbed down.

>> No.13636864

>>13636853
I'm sorry but you are definitely wrong here. You can read the letters online, even prisoners are more literate. Are they the so called good authors you speak of?

>> No.13636866

>>13636788
hyper literacy due to having spent pretty much their entire schooling life studying classical languages and the trivium. education wasn't as sparse back then as it is now, and verbal ability was simply more valued.

>> No.13636870

>>13636788
Catholicism.

>> No.13636881

>>13636864
Show such letters and give a precise reason as to why they are better compared to letters 20th century letters or modern day english.

>> No.13636889

>>13636856
>>13636864
Yeah sure. You're not completely wrong here. But that's more to do with literary enfranchisement than anything else. Back then only society's elites knew how to read and write, now everyone does. But again, age filters what gets passed down through the generations. Even the letters you read are the best written ones that happened to be preserved. There are scores of excellent modern authors out there, who are every bit as good as the old masters. You'll just have to look them up yourselves.

>> No.13636891

>>13636881
I did earlier in the thread -- https://www.british-history.ac.uk/london-record-soc/vol42/pp1-34

They write with more soul and the way it is framed appears more elegant. I guess it's something you just feel. If you don't feel it I wouldn't try and force it on you. Someone else in the thread may tackle you on it though.

>> No.13636898

>>13636891
And i believe you can see why that is an worthless argument. Twitter retards also think they write with more soul and expontainety, and the way that their 140 character sentences are framed appears more expressive and modern. It's something you just feel.

>> No.13636904

>>13636788
>old thing good
>new thing bad

>> No.13636947

>>13636898
If you feel that way about Twitter, my friend I believe you are a 'brainlet'

>> No.13636956

>>13636947
My friend, i am certain from your posts in this thread that you are actually a brainlet. Unironically.

>> No.13636960

its the classic yin and yang situation, total opposites
back then people were incredibly well educated while others had no education but today we lie somewhere in the middle which, i assume, is why there's no "great people" anymore

is there a word for this kind of theory? >inb4 yin yang

>> No.13636972

>>13636960
There are absolutely great people. The problem is, you are included in the so uneducated masses, and thus, you'll never meet them. In 100 years they'll definitely be remembered.

>> No.13636981

>>13636972
>There are absolutely great people
name some

>> No.13636987

>>13636981
Me, anon.

>> No.13637059

Capitalism + high "literacy" rate = ...

>> No.13637234

Can somebody explain "Varney the Vampire"? for supposedly illiterates the working class Britons read an awful lot.

>> No.13637282

>>13636788
Classical education and having nothing else to do but reading books

>> No.13637288

No reliance on dictionaries, no convenience, limitation breeds creativity.

>> No.13638796

Greater influence of Latin (i.e. Multi-claused sentences)

>> No.13638805

>>13636833
You're a brainlet

>> No.13638868

>>13636889
>There are scores of excellent modern authors out there, who are every bit as good as the old masters.
lmfao yeah name the writers alive today that are on the level of Shakespeare, Dante and Tolstoy you total retard

>> No.13638880

>>13638868
they wouldn’t be published today even if they were, the magazines and publishers have been completely pozzed. white men are officially and thoroughly #cancelled unless they’re veterans of the game that have been grandfathered in, or are a good little wokebot (but even then, good luck)

>> No.13638888

>>13636814
Still, they wrote better.

>> No.13638899

>>13636981
Everyone on /lit/.

>> No.13638900

>>13638880
I know, but I can’t be mad about that right now because all my seethe is directed towards that anon’s utterly philistine take

>> No.13638934

>>13638868
Anon, we're in a slight rough spot artistically. It's like 500 Ad to 1500 Ad. We're just going through some stuff right now. But just you wait, there's gonna be a huge second renaissance one of these days. You'll have greats returning en mass, as soon as the individual realizes his power with modern tech. You're gonna have crazy fucks warping the boundaries of art. You're gonna have weirder and greater art then ever before, trust me. We just gotta get over this hump. In the same way bullheadedness and refusal to change caused the dark ages, so too is it causing it now. Schools refuse to adapt. Governments refuse to adapt. The individual refuses to adapt.

But once they realize how to fully utilize computers for benefit instead of entertainment, BOOM, second renaissance.

>> No.13638949

>>13636836
this. choe manri was right, the plebs shouldn't be able to read and write.

>> No.13638961

>>13638934
We'll all be long dead though

>> No.13638969

>>13638934
O I completely agree, not necessarily about the computer bit, I don’t know about that, but I’ve been saying as well that there’s a bubble that’s about to pop and give way to new da Vinci’s and Shakespeares. but they’re definitely not here yet, nor do they have the platform to be here yet, as >>13638880 noted.

>> No.13638972

>>13636891
It doesn't strike me as particularly well-written. It is more wordy than the contemporary equivalent would be, the way typographic conventions have aged also give it some kind of stately emphasis that make it sound more elevated than it would have in its time.
I can be touched by the predicament of the guy and respect the fact that he's capable to quote Voltaire on point (and that fact alone makes me suspect you're not reading the letter of a random prisoner here) but I don't feel he's particularly elegant in his use of prose.

>> No.13638983

>>13636870
this, shakespear was a catholic.

>> No.13638987

>>13638969
maybe but unless they are catholic the books will be bad since they wont understand the trinity or god law

>> No.13639064

>>13638987
de Sade is one of the greatest French writers, so not sure about that

>> No.13640196

>>13638972
its a prisoner anon

>> No.13640967
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13640967

>this entire thread
It's fucking tense in here

>> No.13641000

>>13636981
Kanye West

>> No.13641134

>>13636898
Great. Another "quality is subjective" poster...

>> No.13641150

>>13641134
The other poster is the one asserting "muh old good muh new bad" without showing even a single line of reasoning as to why that is the case. You are an absolute retard if you got that "quality is subjective" from my posts (which says otherwise) and not his.
What is happening to /lit/? Lately i've been seeing such an influx of brainlets that's unheard of in the history of this board.

>> No.13641166

>>13636788
You might just be reading the old books. You have to look for current writers that reflect older writers.

But, styles and dialect change overtime. Just write your own story, and compare it to something modern from a library.

>> No.13641168

>>13641150
New is bad, though. And the majority of lit readers would agree.

>> No.13641198

>>13641168
And you would be an absolute retard if you agree with that without having any reason other than "muh feels". Argue for it. Have a clear, precise reason and only then is your agreement worth anything.

>> No.13641214

>>13636788
Greater human density = Greater human disease
It's not the plastics that's poisoning us it's the microbes

>> No.13641222

>>13641198
Political initiatives ruined literature. For example, in the US, three letter agencies endorsed bland garbage writers and got them all the prestigious positions teaching, criticizing and editing because no message "show, don't tell" writing doesn't raise class consciousness.

>> No.13641232

>>13641198
>Have a clear, precise reason
stares idly in Spenglerian

>>
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