East of Constantinople, West of Shanghai


Art for art’s sake

Not necessarily the 10cc song of the same title, but maybe… who knows? I stumbled today on a discussion in which one of the individuals involved claimed genre fiction can’t be as good as literary fiction, because if it’s good it can’t be genre fiction. I oversimplify, but that was basically the gist of the argument, with a twist – genre writing can’t be good because of the way in which it is produced, because of the authorial intent, if you will.

Now the obvious implication of this reasoning is, the moment I sit here and I say to myself , for instance,

now I’ll write me a ghost story

my story automatically looses the opportunity of being good, in a “literary fiction” sort of good. It’s flawed simply because I decided upon a certain form, and contents, that can be slotted into a genre. Mind you, it still exists the odd possibility that the story will turn out so good it will actually be literature, but it’s highly unlikely, and should it happen, it will be despite my intentions.

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