It Isn’t a Debate

After watching and enjoying Station Eleven the TV series I decided to listen to Station Eleven the book. As I was doing so today the thought passed through my mind that in this version of the story Elizabeth and Tyler leave together whereas in the other version they do not. It was at this point I had the sudden realization that all this debating what is better the book are the movie is even dumber than I previously thought.

Think about it for a second. Different versions of the same story are as ancient as storytelling. How many folktales, myths, and legends have different versions? The Bible starts with four different versions of the same story. Having different versions of stories is nothing new and that is all a TV show, movies, and book are. They are different versions of the same story.

This is not the first time recently when I have had a thought that felt like it should have been obvious this entire time, but it is the most recent time, and next time the discussion comes up of which was better the book or the movie I will just tell people it is no different than their being different versions of the King Arthur story or Cinderella or countless other folktales, myths, and legends that have multiple versions.

Anyone that has picked up a modern retelling of a folktale, myth, or legend has comes across the phrase, “In most versions.” Stories are living things. It is perfectly fine for there to be different versions of the same story. Perhaps it is the style of Station Eleven that gave me that thought. There is a folkloric nature to it. It is about the end of civilization and how humanity continues afterwards. The characters feel like they are part of a distant past even if they are part of a possible future.

This is a case where I enjoyed neither the book of the TV series better. They were different versions of the same story. I have no preference either way, but I am glad that I experienced both, and that the series lead me to the book. I was glad to get to spend a little more time with these characters even if it was in a different medium. I’ll miss them once the book is done but maybe we’ll get a second season or a sequel to the book or another version in video game or broadway musical adaptation.

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