[Writing] Literary vs Genre (again): snobbery and reverse snobbery

12 Dec 2010 in international | questo post è lungo 331 parole

_ «So it follows that genre tends to rely on a simpler reader psychology. If you have a body on the first page, then you raise a question: who killed it and how did it get there? And curiosity will power readers a surprisingly long way. As will, say, a treasure hunt (Brown) or injustice (Grisham) or the locked room mystery format (Larsson). None of this is to say that writing good thrillers is easy. It is still incredibly difficult. But it is easier.


This is why genre writers cannot claim to have everything. They can take the money and the sales and all that goes with that. And we can sincerely admire them for doing so. But they should not be allowed to get away with suggesting that these things tell us anything about the intrinsic value or scope of their work. Here, for example, is Lee Child talking the kind of ersatz machismo bullshit that so confuses the issue: "The thriller concept is why humans invented storytelling, thousands of years ago. [Is it?] The world was perilous and full of misery, so they wanted the vicarious experience of surviving danger. [Did they?] It's the only real genre and all the other stuff has grown on the side of it like barnacles. [Really? Barnacles?] I could easily write a work of literary fiction. [No you couldn't.] It would take me three weeks, [No it wouldn't] sell about 3,000 copies [Doubt it] and be at least as good as the competition. [Absolutely no chance.] But literary authors can't write thrillers. They try sometimes, but they can never do it. [Crime and Punishment.]"

[...]» _

www.guardian.co.uk | via @Rienafaire

We totally disagree with Edward Docx, but we can suggest an old post by Nathan Bransford: The Reverse Snobbery of Low Literary Aspirations.
«Genre writers can learn from literary fiction, just as literary writers can learn from genre fiction. There's a middle ground», wrote Nathan.
What do you think?


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