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Old June 12 2013, 01:25 AM   #128
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Re: Into Darkness and the novelverse [SPOILERS]

hbquikcomjamesl wrote: View Post
As to ". . . no Shakespeare, . . ." and so forth, well, West Side Story is not a reboot of Romeo and Juliet; neither is The Magnificent Seven a reboot of The Seven Samaurai. it's an entirely different kind of reimagining, altogether.
Only in that it tells the same story with the names changed, rather than telling a different story around the same characters and premise. It's not as huge a distinction as you think. Like I said, all creativity is about taking what's come before and doing something different with it. Whether you change the names or not is a superficial distinction.

And yes, in fact, virtually every Shakespeare play is exactly the kind of reboot you're talking about, taking a pre-existing story from fiction or history or mythology and telling it in a new way. Most human creativity throughout the entirety of history has been retelling and reworking pre-existing stories. The practice of inventing completely new stories is historically a recent innovation, only a few centuries old; the reason novels are called that is because when they first came along, it was unusual for a story to be new (novel) rather than a reworking of a pre-existing story, thus it was distinctive enough to name the form after that novelty.

I mean, obviously, before there was printing and widespread literacy, the only way a story could survive is if it was retold and reinvented, passed down through oral tradition and thus inevitably transformed in the telling. It's been the primary way that stories have been told for as long as humans have been capable of telling stories. It's something to be grateful for. It serves a valid and necessary purpose.

And while I don't have a problem with Disney's version of Cinderella, and actually prefer T. H. White's version of the Arthurian Legend (except why did he have to be so verbose!), those are single cohesive versions of stories from folklore, that lack any one authoritative canon, as opposed to, say, the Oz milieu, which has 14 canonical (albeit occasionally inconsistent) novels by a single author, and a whole lot of stuff that is non-canonical, and a fair amount that's actually anti-canonical.
Again, a trivial distinction. A difference in form, not merit or validity. Creativity is creativity. If you have a worthwhile and fresh story to tell, it doesn't matter one damn bit whether you give the characters new names or old ones. (Issues of copyright aside, that is.)
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