A Professor i had once ended her lecture emphasizing the importance of imaginative activity. She gave an example of the hiring process at a large and successful company. For the first six months on the job, the powers that be give you nothing but blank paper and a basketball hoop. To sit. To think. To do nothing, but dream about everything. The earliest artifacts dug up and dusted off that indicated the human capacity for greatness were not wheels or manuscripts. They were toys.
It is interesting, being an English major and feeling afraid all the time. Jokey and rarely defensive, "Well i guess i could always become a teacher." I wrote an essay for a Brit Lit class that made me feel silly. The assignment was to write an epic or mock epic poem of thirty lines, and then in an adjoining paper explain why you poem fit the conventions. I wrote a mock epic on Snow White, when the hunter doesnt kill her, with the justification that a whimsical fairytale having such massive readership (being ingrained in childhood and forever knowing the story) is epic in itself. So even though there is no armoring, sheild decriptions, or invocation of the muse, Snow White the fairytale provides the exact purpose epic poetry in that it is remembered because of its magic, rather than conventions.
Retelling Snow White in epic form is an opportunity to further understanding about the cornerstones of literary tradition. Although the story itself is not steeped in grandiose action or national consequence, it retains the ability to inspire the abnormal, rebellious, and very human process of imaginative activity in the earliest minds. A quality that is fast becoming marginalized in this current day of recession and crisis, but is nonetheless at the very foundation of human creation.
...I guess what i was trying to get at is the point my professor made. To put stake and serious time/dedication into something like an English degree, surfing dream, art exhibit, clothing line, acoustic song, autobigraphy, the perfect dessert is to essentially disobey. It is a shaky but defiant middle finger to the post grad timeline, the respectable adulthood, secure future. These things have been reduced to hobbies, or whimsical projects. They dont connote livlihood. So to live one's life pursuing any passion that is not lucrative or reassuring enough for the boomers to rest easy, is something that takes courage, chutzpah, Mut. Then again, this defiance, this pursuit of the extra-ordinary could be our downfall....meh, Phunk that, i think it's man's most shining attribute.
alright Milton, tell us whats up:
Of Man’s first disobedience, and the fruit
Of that forbidden tree whose mortal taste
Brought death into the world, and all our woe.
Paradise Lost. Book i. Line 1.
I didnt get an A. He said my poem was beautifully written, but he failed to see why is was epic.