Crap books and good books (was Re: Best Books of 2004)

Otter Perry ottertee at
Thu Jan 20 10:10:30 EST 2005

On Wednesday, January 19, 2005, at 10:04 AM, Robyn Starkey wrote:

> Allison Marles wrote:
>> I found this post highly interesting to read.  In conjunction with the
>> discussions of Georgette Heyer, it has made me think about reading 
>> them.
>> I have often felt rather furtive or embarassed about reading "romance"
>> novels.  And I don't really read any others because either I've not
>> found them well-written, or they have boring characters, or they are 
>> Hot
>> and Steamy, which is not at all to my reading taste.  However, I still
>> have often felt the need to explain to people that G.H does not write
>> the sort of trashy-supermarket-corset-bursting type of romance.  
>> Finding
>> out that so many other people who are clearly quite literate read and
>> enjoy G.H. has been very refreshing.  I suspect that a lot of Literary
>> Snobs don't really think books should be enjoyed so much as endured.
> I have to take issue with this, being someone who might easily be 
> characterised as a Literary Snob. I think that you have to take into 
> account differences in taste. I actually really love a lot of books 
> that other people (even, gasp, Melissa) describe as boring or 
> unreadable. I don't just endure them, I enjoy reading them. I don't 
> love everything that is supposedly good literature - I hate Dickens, 
> for example, but I also really Wuthering Heights, and Robertson 
> Davies, not to mention a lot of modernist and postmodern fiction that 
> other people find disturbingly arcane, or dull or whatever.

I think Literary Snobbery has value.  I am a recovering Intellectual 
and it certainly caused me to read books I would never have read
otherwise, many of which were well worth reading.  And some turned
out to be very enjoyable indeed, like _War and Peace_.  [Although
the last time I tried to reread it, I got tired very fast of all those
Russians whining about their souls, which is not a good frame of
mind to approach it with, so I stopped.]  The history stuff is some of
the best part, I think.

Also, I read _Pilgrim's Progress_ regularly for a long time, although
I haven't read it lately.

On another paw, I've never read much modern fiction of Literary
Value[OMT].  And Intellectual Snobbery has never driven me to
read Dostoevsky, for example.  So who knows?


Mornings are a delusion of the
planet bound.

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