High horses and soapboxes

Literary fiction.
What the hell is it? Does anyone beyond the world of the critic care? Where does this snobbery come from? Who says it has more merit than a ripping Science Fiction story or heart-pleasing Romance?
A novel that speaks to the masses…hm, let’s say The Da Vinci Code, yes, that got bashed by the literati. Not the type of jam I’d put on my toast, but damn, people read that mother scratcher, and enjoyed it. Dickens wrote pulp fiction, and he was a master storyteller, yet he was considered low-brow at the time. Oddley enough, today you find him in the section labelled Literature, far away from Dan Brown. 

Oh you so readily embraced James Frey, didn’t you? I understand James Frey’s pain. I get why he lied. Snobbery. We all want to be loved. It’s a basic human need. He got popular and sold books. You’re just jealous you didn’t think of his ploy first.

Literary Fiction types turn up their noses at anything popular, as if popular negates a good story. I swear, if toilet paper didn’t exist there would be some out there who’d refuse a page of the Da Vinci Code to wipe their ass. Since Literary Fiction is all about content and style, God knows paper embossed with little Robert Langdons would leave skid marks.
Grow the hell up and quit your frickin’ high school clique mentality, you blow-hards. Break it down into genres. Admit Literary Fiction is a genre and move on. Read what you enjoy and quit bashing Romance (which outsells LF and all other genres hands-down), Science Fiction, Mysteries, and the Babysitters Club (ok bash that if you want). Meanwhile, is there anything wrong with the simple, catch-all term FICTION?
Hey Booksellers listen up! This means you Borders, Dymocks, and especially Angus & Robertson! Want to make MORE money? Carry more Romance and promote it. If you have it, we will buy.

6 thoughts on “High horses and soapboxes

  1. Personally, I though the Da Vinci Code was a pice of poorly written drivel. Fortunately for Dan Brown, millions of people disagree with my assessment.

    I think the real issue is not that critics bash a book or a movie, but that they often seem to distain those who disagree with them. I think that’s a bad attitude to have. They need to realize that what they have is an opinion, nothing more.

    • opinion schmopinion

      Here’s my opinion of all those who oppose me and belittle my opinion. Can you see my gesture?

      It’s a subjective world. You like a fine merlot, while I can suck down Boones Farm Strawberry wine and love it–not that I would, although I have.
      Yahhh, don’t hate me. Loveme. Love MEEEE!

  2. Have I mentioned in the last three breaths how much I adore Million Little Pieces? How breathtaking and heartwrenching it was? How it changed my attitude about addiction?

    People are so happy to bash him, and everyone seems afraid to say what I’m about to in case they get painted with the same liar tarnish. But here goes:

    Fiction can show truths more clearly than a recitation of the facts. There is honesty in writing and the act of story-telling that eclipses the mere sequence of events. The sooner everyone realizes that, the better the book world will be.

    • I think the problem they had was that they felt for him. And he lied. When he was caught, he kept lying. He let his friends make fools of themselves defending him, when all he needed to say was “That may not be exactly how it happened, but that is exactly how I felt.”

      People turned to him for the hope he offered. Then they learned it was a lie. I don’t blame them for being angry.

      However, for the people who read it now, who know the truth, they can find a different kind of joy and inspiration in it, much as you seem to have.

      • Oh absolutely. People hate being made to look the fool, and Frey’s writing was so immediate that people were sucked in. I wrote a review for a website at the time, and I said something along the lines (how deliciously egotistical to quote oneself) that the book was written in such a way that there was no distance, no distinguishing between book and reader. To find that connection is based on exaggeration and fictionalisation, well it’s like being betrayed by a close friend. I completely understand that.

        My problem is the fact that it keeps getting dredged up again and again, and that the book has lost all cultural currency except for its value as an example.

        It’s worth more…

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