So, is it just me wondering this, or are there a bunch of you curious about the same thing? Genre Fiction. This is Sci-Fi, Fantasy, Horror, you name it; it’s everything except Literature, and it doesn’t look like its reputation in the the writing community has become any less infamous.
I’m a writer and a reader. I love all books, be they The Silence of the Lambs or Tess of the Durbervilles. ‘Course, the quality wanes in some books, and in others, it surpasses my expectations, but, man, that goes for everything on the planet.
What I’ve noticed, though, is that Literature often criticizes Genre Fiction for not having enough beautiful, inspired prose, while Genre Fiction complains Literature can be boring as hell.
I can see both sides of the argument, and I understand them. They’re rational, for one, and, well, you’re not gonna go to Tarzan of the Apes looking for artful sentence structure, and Tom Wolfe’s writing is not so heart-pounding and adventurous, as it is introspective and inspiring.
The conflict; however, boggles me. Most genre fiction is influenced by classic literature.
We wouldn’t have I Am Legend without Dracula.
We wouldn’t have Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone without The Fellowship of the Ring.
We wouldn’t have Jaws without Moby Dick.
See, comparisons are scattered all over history, but most times, people forget to look.
It’s all art, right? At the end of the day, man, they’re just stories written for different purposes, drawing out different lives and scenarios, putting characters against unimaginable conflicts, hoping they’ll survive.
Books are great. Art is great. Literature and Genre Fiction are great.
Yes, they’re separate in structure and character and conflict and other writerly mumbo-jumbo, but they are connected through the art of writing; and since both are written–well, there’s one comparison.
Photo Credit: Alex Schomberg