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Wordsmithing—Story is Dead

by dragonfphoenix

Where does Art go from here? Here, philosophically. Postmodernism is a dead end, and it feels like Nietzsche still has a few more words to say, resonating in in the modern man. Humanity hasn't finished exploring Nietzschean ideology, but the end result is emptiness, and the tremors of that implication are starting to ripple through the cutting edge, the foremost front, of society. It seems like we'll resort to a sort of philosophic amnesia, pretend it's not that bad. Blatantly reject the emptiness. Or embrace it. Or fail to acknowledge it, doomed to traverse the philosophic trails again. All of the above.

My metafictional stories, I have characters above and beyond the story, a sort of pantheon of characters who protect “stories” and “story worlds,” and when a story’s in danger they deus ex into it and work behind the scenes to save it. And I realized, while the characters above the stories fight to protect stories, the author fights to protect the Story. Meaning, message, form, what have you, that’s what the writer fights to protect. And I can’t fight to protect something that’s already been destroyed. Story has no meaning anymore, if it ever did. There’s no point to them. Entertaining, overdrawn metaphors that didact in oblique ways, if they even attempt a meaning beyond simple entertainment. And yet the best crafted classics, with the greatest messages of morality or the dangers of laxity therein, what more impact are those of dead men from ages and empires gone by now than social media propaganda, news stories, moralizing speeches, what difference does it make? It’s all emptiness. Even the most substantive have nothing corporeal to offer but illusion.

But to write to herald the meaninglessness of message, the vanity and delusion of significance in our efforts, is to embrace the very architecture being denounced. “Ultimately it doesn’t matter” is to argue that this piece matters, even if for so inconsequential a purpose as to lay bare the ineffectuality of preserving these or any thoughts to atemporal form. And further, a beast inside me, a sheer brute who will not see reason, rages against the thought of life being irrelevant. That it can’t mean nothing, that our best efforts are wasted on not a generation of wisps, but a race. A species’ whose lifespans are like breath fogged in the cold, who pass faster beneath the halls of time than the tears of the sky from the face of the earth. That the metaphor and simile which convey a greater meaning must have a greater impact than the atomic units of speech called individual words. That their message has an impact greater than grass deformed by the passage of soccer balls and children’s cleats and the paws of pets.

There must be meaning! Significance! And such the barbaric yawp concludes, with furious fist-pounding and feet-stomping and the Bastille of Philosophy unmoved by its passions. This too further entrenches the ceaseless march of meaninglessness upon the message of Art. This is Ouroboros. Any system which claims meaning, when it attempts to manifest meaning, devolves into meaningless, yet cannot express this meaninglessness without axiomatically presupposing meaning. And to assume no meaning at all precludes the necessity of conveying this meaninglessness. Why, then, has no one told the snake to take its tail out of its mouth? Break the circle, end the cycle, allow for transcendent and unprecedented progress.

Those who have are the Regressors and Traitors of humanity. For to remove the tail is not progress, but regression. There can in no wise be no advance if the command is to retreat. And still the antinomy remains that the tail remains and must be eaten, and yet to do so is madness. And yet still further to not is madness further. For the Regressors are mad, all of them, backwards and barbaric. They claim sanity while advancing the preposterous claim that recession is furtherance, loss is gain, and other such illogical ravings. Perhaps their maddest is that humans should sublimate themselves to the undead Deity, for they claim Him to still be in spite of our knowing that He is not. How can this information be, when the Great Informant has been informed out of existence?

It seems Certainty is madness and folly, also. To know the Death of God is to know the Death of Art, for with Meaning gone, meaning is no longer meaningful. And yet to know this is itself an admission of the agnostic creed, for with no certainty may the madmen say God is dead if He truly be. So if not dead, then absent, a practical death if not literal, and we’ve yet to escape our fate. Despair doesn’t just seem, it is the inescapable conclusion and consummation of our traverse through the heavens. Truly, it is a simple matter to grasp the stable insanity of the Regressors.

Yet I, a Regressor, speak with veiled voice, as if my own insanity credentials me to elocute the doctrines of another mania. We are all sane here, and that is the problem. Intellect has been our Virgil, yet his pupils’ paths have diverged to drastically opposed destinations. I cannot help but heed the Gate’s warning, yet my Regression forbids and prevents me from pledging full allegiance thereunto. It is my Regression that fuels that savage, barbaric yawp, reinforces and steels it against all assault. Meaninglessness cannot be within the paradigm of Regression, yet apart from that lens my eyes behold nothing but such a wasteland that not even the carrion and parasites can scavenge. Yet to call this Regression barbarism is an insult to the clear and undefiled lunacy that disconnects the Ouroboros and worships the Resurrected.

It is madness to Regress, and it is madness not to. The only sane assessment is that we are all insane, yet which among us is the most sane, who can most sanely make that analysis? The mad leading the mad. Yet I was Regressed with the simple faith of a child long before I learned the speech of the mortal gods.

How then am I to speak? I, who hold fealty to the Transcendent, to Meaning and Fact and Truth, amidst a wilderness of decapitalization. I, who believe in Meaning and meaning and yet the pointlessness of meaning Meaning Itself prescribes, to prescribe meaning and Meaning to my fellow madmen yet Unregressed. I, who believe my purpose, any author’s raison d'etre, to write and protect the Story, so Miniveran—for the Story has already been destroyed. 

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32 Reviews

Points: 3138
Reviews: 32

Sun Jan 28, 2018 4:48 am
LukeStarkiller wrote a review...

The concepts that you're dealing with here fascinate me, and I think you expressed the problems that arise when contemplating a world that, in the grand scheme of things, doesn't seem to matter better than I ever could.

I'd like to think that I followed along for pretty much the entire thing, but the beginning kind of lost me. I like opening with the question "Where does art go from here," but I don't see why Postmodernism is a dead end, perhaps because I have only a basic understanding of what Postmodernism is. I'd go into that a little bit since you risk losing a section of your readers in the opening couple of lines.

Also, I didn't see the connection between Nietzsche and the idea that story is dead until I thought about it for awhile. I'm not sure if you ever come out and say that the reason these are connected is that stories are specifically TRYING to discern meaning out of a world that is apparently meaningless. So you take some leaps, like this one, in reasoning that I don't think the average reader would, though I'm guessing they make perfect sense in your head. And don't get me wrong, you did a very good job capturing your thoughts, and I aspire to have this eloquence when I try to vocalize things like this.

Overall, a great addition to the Wordsmithing series. I look forward to more!

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Points: 33
Reviews: 3

Fri Jan 26, 2018 9:12 pm
deleted22 wrote a review...

Wow. I am going to be really honest and say that for the most part, my small brain had trouble grasping what you meant by this or that. I have formed my thought on what I ASSUME you're trying to say; nonetheless, I am here to confess my own turmoil regarding this perspective and I hope this brings me closer to understanding what you are conveying here.

I took a philosophy course last semester and actually found it extremely interesting. Especially Jean-Paul Sartre and his claim that "Existence precedes essence". And also the claim you used by Friedrich Nietzsche claiming that "God is dead". I grew up in a religious home and then decided to leave organized religion and focus on what I truly believed and on the morals that I form for myself, not controlled by any book or clergy or preacher. I am sure religion relieves people from truly thinking about what happens after death, which at times I think is simply nothing, then other times, I believe in the afterlife. God is the main reason people were made to believe that essence preceded existence and that brought comfort and fullness to many. I sometimes want to be those people, people with rose-colored glasses. But I feel the truth isn't always pleasant. People are so scared of vanishing into oblivion after their death, so maybe they made the afterlife up for their own benefits or maybe they didn't, I will never know.

Anyway, I sort of went down a rabbit hole there. The point is, existentialists conclude their lives with Jean-Paul Sartre's quote and that's it. They see no point in anything anymore, love friendships, TV, music. Because they believe their existence means nothing; therefore, entertainment means nothing. Like stories, as you mentioned, what if there is no point in writing them? Why do we do it? Why do we show the world our opinions, our words, our thoughts, if it doesn't mean anything? I agree on some things, that story isn't as great as it was back then, and some of it has to do with this disgusting materialistic world we live in and some of it has to do with structure or conformity. For example, a child can paint a beautiful mural freely, just on a white canvas with no limits, no prompts, no projects, etc. Then someone come along and gives them another canvas but with lines and instructions telling them to not paint outside the lines. Some things are better off free, and right now, entertainment, stories, poetry, TV shows, movies, aren't free.

Amazing and raw insight.

I'm against picketing, but I don't know how to show it.
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