I sometimes wonder if authors write stories in order to make a desperate grab at immortality. Granted, genuine immortality will never be achieved through a book. Even Dickens and Tolstoy, one day, will not even be memories when the Earth cools into an ice cube as the Sun dies, or it flames into cinders as the Sun supernovas. At least, that’s the conventional wisdom on how things will wind down. The candle will flicker out and you will be forgotten, regardless of all the digital storage in the world. Generations from now, children will sit in their little chairs at school, twitching occasionally as their data implants spark, and say, “Who is Mark Zuckerberg?”
The extremely long-term view aside, I wonder if authors write stories in order to be remembered a little bit longer, for someone to read their thoughts a generation or two after they’re dead and moldering in the grave?
If there’s nothing more to life than life itself, then I can understand that urge. But the problem is that only materialists believe there’s nothing outside of life, matter, the Universe and all its attendant dark materials and dust. Therefore, if a materialist writer is yearning to find a little immortality through his story, then it seems like he’s being untrue to himself. You should disdain that illogical yearning fluttering inside your mind, sir. What value is immortality if everything is only dust?
What value has a story if everything is only dust?
I’m consistently surprised that more authors aren’t nihilists. I wouldn’t want to read their books, of course (nihilism mostly bores me), but the consistency of their thinking would be impressive.
Thankfully, however, materialism as a philosophy is still somewhat young in relation to Man’s history. Most of the canon literature is relatively unencumbered with its dreariness.
Can you imagine Winnie the Pooh written from a materialist, nihilist point of view? Eeyore would be the main character, of course. Tigger would probably end up as a bomb-throwing anarchist, stuttering his way through explanations of why destruction is just as creative as creation. Rabbit, the most industrious of the lot, and the one who always seems to exhibit the most bourgeois characteristics, would be the cruel overseer, finding meaning in subjugating the lazier animals and carrying out the dictatorial commands of the Man, Christopher Robin.
What value is dust if everything is only dust?