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Old 07-17-2011, 01:08 PM   #52
taosaur
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hamlet53 View Post
The time to settle the question of whether or not Bleak House represents a literary book, and whether it satisfied the following monthly criteria was during the nomination period and vote.

I seem to recall that there was a brief heated discussion on this topic, though not about Dickens, and Stephen King's The Stand was nominated. It just did not received enough additional endorsements to even make it to the vote. I don't know what alternative there would be to just leaving these selections up to the popular vote. That is unless Sun Surfer would like to take on the unenviable task of tossing out nominations that are deemed not literary enough.
Well, again:

Quote:
Originally Posted by taosaur View Post
I don't genuinely object to Bleak House's inclusion nor insist that we observe a more stringent definition of "literary."
Popular vote seems just fine. I'm just making conversation. Off topic, I suppose, but the thread has served its original purpose.

Quote:
Originally Posted by fantasyfan View Post
But does popularity and commercial success mean a work can't have genuine literary stature? Shakespeare's plays were quite successful and most of them are still acknowledged as being great--and in some cases--supremely great works. I think the same applies to the works of Dickens. He was certainly a populist author and a man of his times who knew what his readers wanted and made sure to give them what they desired--no doubt about that. But he could also transcend his times and create works of enduring quality.
Of course, these points bring up the question of whether being literary has anything to do with quality, stature or greatness. I don't distinguish literary works from bad or unimportant works, but from conventional fiction. Conventional works may have great merit and become classics on the basis of the quality of their conventional elements: a memorable character, dramatic events, or as in Dickens' case, a setting evoked and revisited throughout a body of work. Conversely, publishers daily reject literary novels which are terrible and won't even have the privilege of ignominy.
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