The Weekday Ramble is a daily dose of sports, music, culture, and more from Rambling On founder Erik Ritland. For more information check us out on Reddit, Twitter, Facebook, or at our website.
Tuesday February 10, 2015
Love week continues at Rambling On with reasons to love literature and William Faulkner.
The past isn’t dead. It isn’t even past.
- William Faulkner
For the love of literature
Those who follow my music website know how in love I am with the above Faulkner quote. It perfectly describes why I am against presentism, the idea that only modern values shape reality. The past informs who we are today. Sure, it’s unhealthy to dwell on the past, but it’s also unhealthy to dwell on the present or future. Like most things in life, it’s a balancing act.
The biggest problem with presentism is that it ignores the great things of the past. William Faulkner wrote great novels that aren’t being read anymore largely due to people seeing the past as old, humdrum, and not worth looking into.
This is a huge loss, as there is so much depth to the great literature of the past. Beauty and truth, while not exclusive to the past, are dealt with and emphasized in older writing in a way that they are not anymore. At least not nearly as much. It feels today like music, writing, and other forms of art are so afraid to mean anything that they, well, don’t mean anything. This isn’t a virtue.
It’s okay to mean something. It’s okay to be beautiful. It’s okay to be in love. All of this can be found in the literature of the past. That’s why I love it.
Love’s handmaid, beauty
Erik Ritland is a writer and musician from St. Paul, Minnesota. His blog and podcast Rambling On features commentary on music, sports, culture, and more. He is also a contributor for Minnesota culture blog Curious North. Support Erik's music via his Patreon account, reach him via email, or find him on Facebook and Twitter.