Friday, October 7, 2011

popular fiction vs. literary fiction

I've come across a curious phenomenon. Some writers vociferously defend popular fiction while some others rigorously advocate for literary fiction. Popular fiction is deemed commercial and accessible for the masses. Literary fiction is art. Popular fiction is a fun, easy read while literary fiction requires deep concentration. Popular fiction is entertainment. Literary fiction illustrates all the complexities of the human condition.

Many authors are quick to self-identify their work as one or the other. Do you?

Any phenomenon that pits one author against another is not good. I don't think one type of fiction is better or worse than the other; this is not moral relativisim. Both popular and literary fiction are valuable aspects of our culture.

Can't we all just get along? :)

What do you think?

1 comment:

  1. I'm all about mixing up the conventions, personally. i think everyone has his or her own reason to write fiction and that should be respected. The divide, I think, stems from a mixture of jealousy on both sides. I think that the style itself is not what makes the fiction good or bad. There are both incredibly good and horrendously bad books in popular and literary fiction. I explore it a little on my own blog. I don't go into every aspect of it, mind you, but this is what I came up with:

    Part 1:
    Part 2:
    Part 3: