The Rise of Literary Genre Fic.
It’s funny…I’ve been working on a post on and off over the past week about my thoughts on genre fiction (as opposed to “literary fiction”) and the bias against it in the literary and academic communities. This past week has been incredibly busy as I pack for my big relocation. Throw in Memorial Day festivities at both Chez Boyfriend and at my parents’ place, and there hasn’t been too much time to coalesce my thoughts into a coherent post.
Cue The Wall Street Journal…
My dad clipped this terrific article out of the Friday Journal for me, called “The Season of the Supernatural.” The article discusses the spike in genre fiction being released over the course of this summer, and especially the recent trend of former literary fiction writers jumping ship over the genre side as they are increasingly lured by the potential for greater popularity and profit.
For those of you who don’t know me, this is pretty much the epitome of my literary-dream-come-true. Genre fic has always been in abundance, but the challenge of navigating through the reams of crap in search of some legitimate, quality reading has always been a bit of a struggle. Don’t misunderstand me…I adore genre. Close to every one of my favorite books can be classified as genre fiction. However, while I believe that the bias against genre is mostly pretentious B.S., there’s undoubtedly some truth in the stereotype of stock characterization, predictable, fill-in-the-blank plotting, etc. The fact that more “good” writers (yes, this is also a generalization, but bear with me) are heading over to genre is fantastic because it has some potential to lead to a new crop of genre fiction that is held to the same standards of quality as so-called literary fiction, while leaving behind the often mundane and depressing plots that often make literary fiction such a drag to read. Secondly – and this is the reason my parents saved the article for me in the first place – I would humbly categorize my own recently-completed novel somewhere near the realm of this “literary genre fic” that seems to be on the rise. Translation: If there’s ever a time S’QUATCH would be liable to get published, that time is now.
What do you think about this literary transition? Excited? Disappointed? Dubious? Ready to capitalize, yourself?
I’ll probably still post my own take on this interesting literary shift when I get some free time on my hands. For now, though, it’s back to setting up my new MacBook Pro!
Image Credit: The Wall Street Journal – online.wsj.com