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“East and West”: A Love Story for the 21st Century

(About a 3 minute read)

We all know the story.  Boy meets girl, they fall in love.  They fight.  Then make up.  Then pair off  forever and ever.

Puke me a river of boredom.  The story has been repeated more often than Trump’s stupidity.  Besides, it’s totally outdated.   Totally outdated.

It’s outdated because it is basically a Western story — and we living a world now where “we” are no longer just and only the West.  Think about it.  Isn’t it time for a new kind of love story?  One that combines — that synthesizes — the great motifs of both East and West?

In a way, it does not matter what you and I think the time has come for.  It’s going to happen anyway.  The world is already too globalized for it not to happen.  There will be an East/West love story someday — and probably someday soon.   A story that has elements of the old Western story, but also much that is new to the West.

Why do I think so?

Maybe the easy way to put is this: In the West, you love an individual.  You love what is unique, special about someone. . In other words, you love Jim, and no one will do but Jim.  Or Melinda, etc.  If you, dear reader, are from the West, that’s all common sense, right?

But traditionally, it was different in the East.  Traditionally, you do not love the individual there.  You do not love whatever it is about them that makes them one of a kind.  Instead, you love the universal in someone.  The timeless, unchanging, eternal in them.  The thing they have in common with everyone else.

Don’t believe me?  I had once had a professor who now and then would read traditional Indian love stories to us.  Every hero is the same.  Every heroine is the same.  Story to story to story.  Only the moral of he stories ever changes. Only the moral.

Of course there are Western style love stories all over the East these days — but guess where they came from?

I will wager that someone soon is going to create a true synthesis of East and West when it comes to love stories.  Something that will worldwide replace the individualism of “She’s the only one in the whole world for me” — but also replace the universalism of “He’s interchangeable with any ranking member of his cast or class or clan.”

By the way, look not just for a new story, look even more for a new way of thinking about what it means to love someone.  That will be the real change.  The real synthesis.  Not the plot, but the new vision of what love is.

Just a thought for the day.  Y’all can go back to being sane now.

 

4 thoughts on ““East and West”: A Love Story for the 21st Century”

  1. Interesting thought, Paul!
    This is a rambly post: https://freshhell.me/2019/04/25/on-writing-characters/
    Suffice it to say I did an experiment and tried to write a story where I tried to keep the character static and make the story plot-driven instead. When I did, it felt like a morality tale. Like the story was about what happens to people with a specific character trait instead of being about how a complex individual deals with an event. What you said about Indian tales relates to that.
    I’m tempted to write another experimental story… a universal character, eh… I’m puzzled and intrigued…

    Liked by 1 person

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