Thursday, November 08, 2007

Ah, that ole' genre divide again...

I just wanted to mention two interesting posts about the genre divide debate. In some ways I have lots of things to say about this. It involves me in a variety of ways. But these guys do quite a good job bringing some light to the subject. I'll just point you toward them...

First up is Jeff Vandermeer writing in Clarkesworld Magazine.

Larry at OF Blog of the Fallen also addressed the topic, referencing Jeff's post.

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Blogger Lyman Feero said...

But there really is no divide. Genre is merely an artificial construct used by publishers to hawk books. The real divide is between pretentious and accessible fiction. That can't be escaped regardless of "mainstream" or "genre" status.

Book as art vs. book as entertainment. Interesting concept. I once had a mentor (B.A. degree) that gave me his take on the difference between mainstream and genre writers. Genre writers try to entertain their readers while teaching about social issues. Mainstream writers, though also teachers of social issues, don't particularly care if their audience is entertained. I know that isn't always the case but it certainly feels that way from time to time.

8:21 AM  
Blogger David Anthony Durham said...

Lyman, I agree that there really is no divide. Not, at least, in the cut and dry way that so many seem to believe there is. Actually, it confounds me a bit that smart people stumble on this issue so much.

I agree also that when I was writing my highly "literary" MFA novels I was all focussed on the issues and didn't think much at all about entertainment. I wrote two unpublished books that way. When I started my third, Gabriel's Story, I was just as focussed on issues and art, but I also felt the pull of crafting something dramatic enough to be entertaining. This wasn't easier to do; it was harder. Fortunately, it was also more satisfying to more readers...

12:43 PM  

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