Thread: Horror!
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Old 06-27-2008, 12:29 PM   #17
tompe
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gideon View Post
Actually, scifi and fantasy are some of the biggest culprits. Check out that wiki article Igor linked to, it described the difference well. That being said... a lot of authors in those genre try very hard to not be, and sometimes they succeed. (And for the record, my favorite genre fiction IS scifi/fantasy.)

Again, I don't mean the term pejoratively and don't have any interest in getting into a "what is art," "what is literature," etc. argument. But there's a big difference between "The Kite Runner" and "Demian" versus Harry Potter or the latest Robert Jordan.
I was referring to the following from the wikipedia article about genre fiction:
Quote:
The term "genre fiction" is sometimes used as a pejorative antonym of literary fiction, which is presumed to have greater artistic merit and higher cultural value. In this view, by comparison with literary fiction, genre fiction is thought to be formulaic, commercial, sensational, melodramatic, and sentimental. By extension, the readers of genre fiction—the mass audience—are supposed to have less educated taste in literature than readers of literary fiction. Genre fiction is then, essentially, thought to be the literature that appeals to the mass market.

But from another point of view, literary fiction itself is simply another category or genre. That is, it can be thought of as having conventions of its own, such as use of an elevated, poetic, or idiosyncratic prose style; or defying readers' plot expectations; or making use of particular theoretical or philosophical ideas as well as having a niche audience, "generic" packaging and "superstar" authors. The publishing industry itself treats literary fiction as one category among others.

In addition, it can be argued that all novels, no matter how "literary", also fall within the bounds of one or more genres. Thus Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice is a romance; Fyodor Dostoevsky's Crime and Punishment is a psychological thriller; and James Joyce's A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man is a coming-of-age story. These novels would usually be stocked in the general or possibly the classics section of a bookstore. Indeed, many works now regarded as literary classics were originally written as genre novels.
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