Genre prejudice

Ven vendersleighc at
Thu Jul 17 22:02:05 EDT 2003


<So I guess I would suggest 
that people who enjoy reading literary fiction 
probably also enjoy reading 
in a more - hmmm - interpretive mode. I know 
that's probably true of me. I 
can read fantasy with a critical interpretive 
mindset, but I don't have to. 
Most literary texts probably *require* this kind 
of reading.>

I like the idea of reading in different modes. As
well as a mode shift from literary to genre
fiction I think I have a mode for mysteries
another for booKs where I will actually have to
think about scientific or technical stuff, one 
for unhappy books and so on.

Like others I not entirely sure how to defibne
literary fiction. Everything that isn't genre?
Anything written in accordance with one of the
predefined schools of literature -- or in
reaction to them? Prizewinners? Being reviewed in
particular places? However I believe I know it
wehen I see it........

Would anyone like to comment on the difference
between US and British ideas of what constitutes
literature. Does Manhattan Angst compare to
Islington neurosis?

I like the food analogy Deborah, I certainly know
that some books which don't taste very nice are
good for me. I've been working on another
analogy: for me reading is like walking for
pleasure. At opposite extremes we have walking on
the tarmac paths of a tame park on a sunny day or
walking up a sodding great mountain. The latter
will almost certainly entail things that are not
pleasant, patches of bad weather, steep and shaly
bits, bits where you think you might just bypass
the summit and take an easy way back down......
but in the end it's worth it for the views.


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