Genre prejudice

Rowland, Jennifer A B jennifer.rowland at imperial.ac.uk
Wed Jul 16 06:34:12 EDT 2003


> -----Original Message-----
> From: Melissa Proffitt [mailto:Melissa at Proffitt.com]

[Why read literary fiction if you don't enjoy it much]

> Well, the obvious reason would be "to make myself look like a 
> brilliant, well-educated, sophisticated person."  Some people really get 
> off on being superior to others, and if that's what you care 
> about--appearing to be like the in-crowd--then that's the expectation 
> that justifies the effort. Giving up on such books makes you seem like a
phony, not 
> quite up to snuff, not quite as intelligent as everyone else.  Or there
are some 
> people who just don't like to give up on a book no matter how much they 
> dislike it. And some are masochists.

There's also "to make myself *feel* like a brilliant, well-educated,
sophisticated person." I started reading Roman and Greek authors mostly
because I had got an impression of Classical lit as True Culture, what one
Should read to be educated, from books. (I reread the ones I have, and try
more from time to time, because I have enjoyed many of them- I'm not a
literary masochist!) My reasons were probably just as shallow as the ones
above, but applied internally rather than being the opinions of a group of
friends. I like the image of myself as a connoisseur.
Jennifer
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