31 January 2008


Excellent fantasy author Carol Berg said, "I believe that every genre spans a continuum from pulp to literary. This is NOT a judgment of writing quality or worth, but of purpose."

Another excellent fantasy author, Ursula LeGuin, wrote in On Despising Genres,

"Division of fiction into genres is like all classification, useful � useful to readers who like fiction of certain kind or about certain subjects and want to know where to find it in a bookstore or library; and useful to critics and students and Common Readers who have realised that not all fictions are written in the same way with the same aesthetic equipment.

Genre has no use at all as a value category and should never be used as such...

But the concept or category of genre is used to evaluate fiction unread. To sort out the real books � that is, realistic fiction � from the "subliterature" � that is, everything else � every other kind of fiction written in this century. Everything but realism, including the very oldest and most widespread forms of story such as fantasy, gets shoved into a ghetto."

Interesting! What do you all think of Genre?


Bernita said...


lesleylsmith said...

I think LeGuin's point was considering some fiction to be "subliterature" was wrong.