View Full Version : What are the "first" stories?
04-11-2003, 10:11 PM
You know the kind. The ones that inspired everything after them. The can be entire genres (Dracula creating the modern vampire story), or sub-genres (Interview with the Vampire created the "From the vampires point of view" story), or even common plot points (I have seen Dune's scarcity of water on an alien world in many sci-fi movies and shows). What movies, books, plays, etc started or created the themes, cliches, and stereotypes that we know today?
04-11-2003, 10:55 PM
some bible stories, such as adam's rib and the flood, started with some mesopotamian folk tales.
04-11-2003, 11:19 PM
I've often heard the claim that Edgar Allen Poe's stories about Dupin (e.g., Murders in the Rue Morgue) gave birth to the detective genre. This was all pre-Scotland Yard, so I can imagine why others hadn't hit on upon the idea first.
04-11-2003, 11:21 PM
The epic of Gilgamesh
04-11-2003, 11:22 PM
The epic of Gilgamesh (as captainQwark alludes to).
04-11-2003, 11:49 PM
Don't just list a title. Please give reasons, such as what type of stories did it give rise to?
04-12-2003, 12:12 AM
Ah, sure thing:
Gilgamesh, which we know to have been written down at least as early as 2000 B.C., and to have existed in oral form prior to that, includes such stories that the Bible was directly based on, such as:
The gods were unhappy because the "uproar of mankind is intolerable and sleep is no longer possible by reason of the babel," so they decided to flood the world. One god tells one man, Utnapishtim, to build a boat and take on it the seed of all living creatures, which he does.
It storms for six days and nights, and on the seventh the storm stops. Untapishtim finds the top of one mountain, where his boat is grounded. On the seventh day of having been grounded, he releases a dove, which returns after finding no land. Then he releases a swallow, to the same result. Finally he sends out a raven, who did not return. After this he sacrifices to the gods and all is good.
Also in this story, Gilgamesh is seeking everlasting life. He does not get this, but is given a fruit which will grant a return to youth. This fruit of youth is snatched away by a serpent.
There are many other parallels between Gilgamesh and the Bible. Perhaps in the morning I'll dig up my notes from class and write about a few more.
04-12-2003, 01:51 AM
THE EPIC OF GILGAMESH is the very first "last-man-on-Earth" story.
Already in Use
04-12-2003, 01:55 AM
The Tale of Genji is generally considered to be the world's first full-length novel.
04-12-2003, 02:01 AM
There's an ancient Egyptian story about the girl Rhodopis, who was bathing in the Nile one day when a hawk picked up her fur-trimmed sandal--perhaps mistaking it for a mouse--and flew away with it. The hawk dropped the sandal when he found that it wasn't edible, and it landed in the Pharaoh's courtyard. The Pharaoh took this as a sign from the gods. He searched the land for the owner of the sandal, and when he found Rhodopis, he made her his Queen.
It is said that this is the first version of CINDERELLA and all its spinoffs.
04-12-2003, 10:32 AM
Dracula creating the modern vampire story
Actually, it didn't. "The Vampyre" by John Polidori was written about seventy years before "Dracula" and is generally considered to be the first modern vampire story in English literature.
04-12-2003, 03:01 PM
Modern Arthurian romance, from Camelot to Excalibur, derives (indirectly, by way of Geoffrey of Monmouth, Chretien de Troyes, and Sir Thomas Malory) from a Welsh story cycle, The Mabinogion.
kung fu lola
04-12-2003, 08:19 PM
Jung's "Hero's Walk";
A youngster, of uncertain parentage/who is an orphan, is called one day to leave the place they spent their childhood years. They meet a mentor, who tells them crucial information they never knew/performs an initiation rite/pledges to be their guide, and they begin a quest to discover their roots/right an injustice/retrieve an artifact. By chance or my design, the Hero may encounter one Companion or more, who accompany him on his journey. Companions are usually very dear to the Hero and have talents or knowledge that the Hero does not have, although they are essential to his journey. There are many small tests along the way, including one great Tribulation that is a turning point in the young Hero's life. Armed with revelation from the Tribulation, the Hero successfully completes the journey and discovers that.... [Fill in the blank, e.g, they are actually royalty/they have a special power/the answer is inside them, yada yada yada].
So many popular stories follow this formula. Here are a few: Star Wars, The Harry Potter books, Buffy The Vampire Slayer, The Chronicles of Prydain, The Princess Bride,........ add some of your own.
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