Genre prejudice

Roger Burton West roger at
Wed Jul 16 07:29:19 EDT 2003

On Wed, Jul 16, 2003 at 12:21:36PM +0100, Hallie O'Donovan wrote:

>Sorry, Robyn, I'm not so clear on Margaret Atwood: do you mean that 
>she's harder to defend as not fitting with the broad theory 
>(Wolverton's, right?), or harder to keep within the category of 
>literary fiction because of her usual speculative fiction 

There's an argument for considering authorial intention invalid, if you
like: Atwood claims, at great length, that she is _not_ writing science
fiction because _her_ work is _serious_ and doesn't have those nasty
rocket ships in it.

Does this mean that anything an author says about his own work is
invalid? I don't think so, but I've heard people assert this apparently
seriously. I'd be more inclined to say that it means that Atwood is
simply unfamiliar with the definition of "science fiction"; this falls
into the "Rochester's wife as symbol of racial other" category for me.

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