16 December 2010

Genre vs. Literary Fiction

Many of you probably already saw this, but there's been some interesting 'debate' about Genre vs. Literary Fiction this week.

In The Guardian Edward Docx asked Are Stieg Larsson and Dan Brown a match for literary fiction? (He doesn't think so.) IMHO, one of the big draws of Larsson and Brown is story--they do a very good job sucking you into the plot.

Laura Miller explained Why we love bad writing at Salon.com.

I have another hypothesis: lots of genre writing is good writing. :)

Anyone else have any thoughts?

1 comment:

Betsy Dornbusch said...

I think we can't discount the appeal of cliche, as she states in the article at Salon. Some readers are so entranced with STORY they don't want annoying prose to get in their way. I happen to lean more that way than the other, but for me it's endless internal narrative. :) Cliche doesn't annoy me unless it's used to the exclusion of all else. At times cliche is a perfect stone, one that won't trip you up on your way to the end of the story.

Ditto with trope. I mean, fantasy novels often run the same race in different worlds and using different magical systems, and we seem to love just the same.

All good fiction makes you think. In my opinion, genre fiction lets the reader decide just how much effort they want to put into it.