While watching the Academy Awards Sunday night, I was reminded by the choreography for Happy—Pharrell Williams Oscar nominated song—that everything old is new again. Towards the end of the number, overhead camera shots revealed dance patterns just the way they had been revealed in dance choreographed by Busby Berkeley in films produced in the 1930s and later brought into play by June Taylor in her choreography for the Jackie Gleason television shows of the 1960s and 70s.
We often see fashion of one period repeated in another—bikinis were fashionable in 330 A.D. in Amerina, Sicily. Tiles imported from all over the Roman Empire were cut into small pieces used in mosaics at the Villa del Casale. One of the 60 rooms excavated in 1952 features trim young women holding balls and lifting weights who wear the same style two-piece briefs popular today.
Organic foods are popular today and, of course, our ancestors hunted and gathered—they ate food with no additives. There was no organic aisle and supermarket for them to patronize.
What about writing? Oral histories date back to camp fires and romance novels were written in the middle of the 18th century. In 1741, Samuel Richardson, wrote the early romantic novels—Virtue Rewarded and Clarissa. Mysteries? Edgar Allen Poe wrote The Murder in the Rue Morgue in 1841 and The Notting Hill Mystery was written in 1862—the mystery there is the author said to be a Charles Felix. It took 149-years for his true ID to be discovered by a literary detective—his name was Charles Warren Adam and his firm published the book. (Would that be an early example of independent publishing?)
New genres have been written in our century: chick lit for one—but vampires are back and a Sherlock Holmes for the 21st century is with us today.