Genre prejudice

Rowland, Jennifer A B jennifer.rowland at imperial.ac.uk
Wed Jul 16 09:20:39 EDT 2003


> -----Original Message-----
> From: minnow at belfry.org.uk [mailto:minnow at belfry.org.uk]
> Jennifer suggested:
> >[Why read literary fiction if you don't enjoy it much]
> >There's also "to make myself *feel* like a brilliant, well-educated,
> >sophisticated person." 
> 
> You offer a perfectly sound reason for anyone to start 
> reading a particular genre or type of book, certainly. 
> And finding that you enjoy 'em, you
> carried on.  What I am trying to find out is why, if one 
> found that one *didn't* enjoy them, one wouldn't simply stop!

Well, Roger (I think it was) suggested that there's always the "everyone
else likes them" factor- if you decide that you are a Cultured person, and
these are Cultured books, then you *have* to like them. Maybe you'll enjoy
the *next* one... Or perhaps they are the litsnob version of initiation
rites, enjoyment isn't the point. Or maybe people *do* like them. One of my
pet peeves is bitty books, stream-of-consciousness with unsignalled changes
to *which character's* consciousness it is- or maybe it's the narrator-
(just tell the damn story, FFS!) but there are one or two like that which I
liked anyway, for the prose style. (Can't remember titles ATM though.)

(Speaking of Culture made me think I'd like to read a book from the Culture,
actually.[*] Would they be very very long because the author and the reader
both have all the time in the world? Would they come with instructions for
what hormones you should gland to enjoy them most?)
Jennifer
[*] As in Iain M. Banks books
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