Sunday, November 9, 2014

Adventure Time

There's a genre of literature that I miss, and that's the "adventure" title.

"Hold up," one might say. "Adventure is everywhere. It's not dead!"

Well, kind of. Adventure novels are generally defined as a story in which the protagonist is involved in something that is outside of their normal, everyday lives. (Think Robinson Crusoe or King Solomon's Mines.) A stranger going to a city would be an adventure; a detective solving a crime, no matter how thrilling, would not; that's his job. As such--while people can quibble about the definition--you just don't see it too much anymore in writing.

Why, one may ask? Probably because a staple of adventure novels was the Undiscovered Country--people from Europe traipsing around, say, Africa, or South America, where only the most intrepid explorers had set foot. (Needless to say, the default intrepid explorer is always white.) Even past the Victorian era, were everything was more or less explored, you still could have adventures, since travel was expensive and there were enough wars going on that it could also be dangerous. Even throughout the Cold War, adventures could be had--plenty of closed-off societies in the world.

Today, however, that's no longer the case. You can pretty much go anywhere and do anything, with very little by way of hardship. (At least comparatively so.) Any adventure title will have to be historically researched, and that's always more tedious.

In addition, it seems the province of adventures is now better served by movies and (to a lesser extent) television.

It's a genre I wish would make a comeback. I am sure there are plenty of writers out there that might be conjuring up some fantastic work, but I just can't find any.

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