Sunday, March 2, 2014

Novels versus TV

On Frank Wilson's blog. Books, Inq,  there is a link to an article in the New York Times wherein two literary types comment on whether modern TV series like "The Wire," "True Detective," "House of Cards," etc. are the equivalent great novels and may replace them.  Two famous novelists are mentioned as a move to support their contention:  Henry James and Charles Dickens.
I have the feeling these days that my mind doesn't work properly.  It doesn't seem to fit or adapt to most of the observations and information so I may be wrong but I think that such assertions are absurd.
Consider:  TV shows are VISUAL and that element is mentally received before the text is taken in.  Novels do not have visual content from beginning to end.

Consider: TV series have music playing in background for effect and manipulation of emotions.  This element is mentally received concurrently with the visuals and the text.  Novels do not have the accompaniment of music.

Consider: Numerous attempts have been made to make successful and faithful movies out of famous novels.  Largely they have failed or been only partially successful because the novel's elements cannot be expressed in visual dramatic filmed modes.

These shows are closer to TV soap operas than any other form.  If these series ever replace novels it mean that the barbarians have broken through the gates and own the town.

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