I'm reading Margaret Atwood's (The Handmaid's Tale) book on writing and finding it very interesting. But she says something really interesting that struck me - that despite claims of Modernism, Post-Modernism, etc. we're actually experiencing the tail end of Romanticism. Now, I don't know a LOT about romanticism, but I've studied Modernism a lot. Atwood is an incredibly smart woman though, and I can accept she might know what she's talking about. Personally, as a big believer in pluralism, I love the modern age's niche oriented landscape for writing and books - if you want to write literary, there's a place for that; if you want to write about vampire espionage, there's a place for that; if you want to write Young Adult fantasy, there's a place for that, etc. I was arguing with my brother the other day, and I was saying this is the best time for writers and readers than any other time, but he had nostalgia goggles on and couldn't see it. THe simple fact is there's more people reading, and more people making a living as writers, as ever before. However, going back to Atwood, I can see what she's saying as most of our characters in our books are 'heroic' in one way or another, at least in how they see themselves. I think that's just the nature of how we human beings see ourselves these days. Maybe Atwood is right. But if we're still in Romanticism, and this is the tail end, what's next????