Tuesday, June 13, 2017

The Death (and Paroxysms) of Arthurian Studies

No one is reading or listening or paying any attention.

So why bother at all?

What am I talking about?  The death and death-throes of the field of Arthurian Studies,

This was once a serious academic pursuit.  Well, okay, it was serious among a certain number of fringe scholars.  But with the advent of the WWW, and the neopagan movement, and the Age of Misinformation, in which belief without discriminatory faculties or knowledge or wisdom has run amok, and trolls reign supreme, any serious attempt to explore the possibility of a historical Arthur has been buried under an avalanche of ignorance and absurdities.  Honest, objective, respectable scholarship has gone by the wayside. To quote Montaigne, "Nothing is so firmly believed as what is least known."

I'm suspending my own researches into the subject of a historical Arthur.  Why?  Because no matter how logically or rationally I approach the problem, either no one cares, no one listens or, perhaps even worse, my own material is co-opted by the unqualified and/or the deranged.

As we have very little evidence for the historical Arthur - nay, one might say we have none at all - everyone with a preconceived belief about him is free to promote any nonsensical theory.  And there are so many of the latter that any reasonable approach is quickly drowned out in the noise. Sensationalism, conspiracy and the like is all that matters nowadays.  That is the true currency of our modern era.

A good example of what I'm talking about: every time I post an article on my own conclusions, the only comments that are appended are by those espousing their own radically opposing and poorly argued views.  Within a very short time, any thread I initiate is totally commandeered, and the carefully crafted ideas I had put forth are buried under an onslaught of dribble produced by biased, undisciplined and often completely irrational individuals.

I long ago quit Arthuriana's Arthurnet because this was happening.  Since I left that group, Arthurnet has ceased to exist for the very reasons I have expressed in this blog post.  I attempted to promote my theories on Facebook groups.  The reception there was unexpectedly cold and unpleasant.  After being "banned" from all groups save one, for no other reason, it would seem, other than my making available blog posts, I came to realize that there was no hope for civilized discourse or productive debate in this medium.  Nothing has happened in recent months to change my mind about this fact, and, indeed, I've decided to stop banging my head against the brick wall of ignorance and pre-conceived belief  and to bow out once and for all.  I no longer wish to continue to waste my time and energy on trying to promote my own balanced views to an, in the main,  unbalanced public.

It is for this reason that I wish you all a fond farewell. For those of you who DO CARE about what I've produced over the years, I thank you with all my heart.  You are a rarity in this time of unreasonableness. I may, at some point, re-enter the arena of fiction writing in the Arthurian genre, but for now, like most of us, I must seek other more profitable work in order to contribute to my family's welfare,

No comments:

Post a Comment