Funny how you’re sitting on the bus thinking about something and then…

there it is in The Guardian newspaper.

Of course, I am of a different opinion than Mr. Docx. Genre fiction often explores the same issues as literary fiction – death, illness, greed, deception, lust, etc. – but in a way that has a broader appeal. This does not mean it’s better; broad appeal is never a guarantee of better quality. But, people will pick it up, read, think, daydream, feel, escape and confront and read and enjoy in a way that’s difficult when the author is falling over himself to deliver wordy invention. I hate those novels.

Of course, we need both types of writing. Incidentally, genre fiction seems to run the gamut of moods and subjects. Doesn’t literary fiction always seem to have some profound and depressing ideas behind it? It’s seldom you find happy literary fiction. Big thoughts can happen in mass market paperbacks. Really.

Ultimately, if you were condemned by some horrible and bizarre literary tyrant to only be free to read literary or genre, which would you choose? How much advantage would you really get from a steady diet of lit fiction? Would it be worth it?


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