Genre prejudice

Robyn Starkey rohina at
Wed Jul 16 01:43:57 EDT 2003

>I am still looking for a fan of literary fiction who can explain to me what
>they see in it.  In some ways they are a remarkably inarticulate bunch.

There's a challenge! I am a fan of literary fiction, but not all literary 
fiction. Like, I am a fan of fantasy, but not all fantasy, and some sf, but 
not all. I find it hard to defend a whole genre when there are parts of it 
I dispise.

What I like about literary fiction:

1) interesting uses of words and arrangements of words (eg Everything is 
Illuminated by Jonathan Safran Foer)

2) playing around with literary ideas and constructs like form and genre 
(eg Small World by David Lodge)

3) interesting uses of imagery (eg The Passion by Jeanette Winterson)

4) erudition and smartarse literary and historical injokes (eg Baudolino by 
Umberto Eco)

5) discussion of wider ideas and/or morality and/or good and evil (eg 
Unless by Carol Shields)

I like to be challenged, I don't mind having to work to unpeel the layers 
of meaning in a text, like an onion.

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