It’s fascinating to wonder on how legend originated. Legend would have started from old Grandma’s tales round a fire at night to more sophisticated forms of the legend that exist now. Of course there are writers who experiment with less of storytelling and more with experimental writing.
The historicity of the legend can have many forms and they are realist fiction, surreal fiction, streams of consciousness, the psychological novel and popular fiction like whodunit novels and conspiracy novels also labeled as speculative fiction.
Why is the human mind obsessed with the fantasy for fiction? May be it is the darker side of life that humans desire to live in imagination. May be it’s the desire of the mind to exorcise evil and castrate it and experience catharsis.
Realist fiction went to a great extent of describing reality like photography. Customs, traditions, physical paraphernalia were all explicated in great detail. Realist fiction also tried to analyze the workings of the mind of characters. But such analysis was related to the outer periphery. The problem with realist fiction was that it was aimed for the petit bourgeoisie and the bourgeoisie class of people. It would be very difficult to discern the idea of aesthetics in realist fiction. Realism satisfied the age of reading, the petite bourgeoisie. Realist fiction hit the markets and became bestsellers.
Surreal fiction incorporated the realities of the physical and the mental realm. Surreal fiction lived in multiple realities in the plane of living realities. Fantasy was liberated from myths and enclosed in tropes to deify an aesthetic experience. Reality was configured as a self that in psychoanalysis is unstable, disturbed and veering away from the center of reason and exhibiting disturbing divergences of passion. The psychoanalytic literature of Freud helped in a giant way to propel the realities of surreal fiction. Consciousness was revealed to its expositors as manifestations of self that was creative, critical and deeply wounded with angst, yet proudly proclaiming the liberation of the self to realizations of being.
Streams of consciousness was a total liberation of the mind and also the language. The patterning of the inner workings of the mind was bought to the surface textures of the text by varying syntax, grammar and even spelling. Writing became a dense tissue of elliptical twists and turns. The character became a destabilized centre of multiple realities. Streams of consciousness proved that the character has a highly unstable self.
Conspiracy novels and whodunit novels are the most popular forms of fiction and they are ready to be market best sellers. I would like to use the term used by Louis Althusser, that fiction is also an ideological apparatus. For the success of conspiracy novels and whodunit fictions there is no division between the working class, the proletariat and the bourgeoisie. The class of society is collectively addicted to its symptoms of its legend. Why is this rage for the Aids of addiction? The problem here is that Art in fiction has not become totally liberated. A pure art of aesthetic appreciation is a phenomenology of language that translates into the way the writer uses the languages and conveys ideas that more closely related to music, poetry and abstract art. But the society has not come to level of liberating literacy. Society is still steeped in the magnification and glorification of legends.