Genre prejudice

Hallie O'Donovan hallieod at
Wed Jul 16 07:22:31 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.

I like this list, Robyn - makes me want to go off and read all the 
books (only read the David Lodge).  But you know what struck me about 
it?  Just how much could apply to _Fire and Hemlock_ .  Not 
necessarily the only DWJ which works, but the first one which came to 

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