Monday, April 14, 2014

A to Z - L (2014)

I'm doing the A to Z Blogging Challenge this year. The basic idea is to blog nearly daily with each day representing a different letter of the alphabet. My entries will be short and book-related.  

L is for...

Literary Fiction!

When fiction doesn't fit a genre, it tends to be categorized as mainstream. I usually think of it was literary - or simply literature. These are books that make for good book reports in school, that are often about the message or the journey rather than where you're going to end up. It's about beautiful language and dazzling linguistic artistry, often (but not always) prized above a thrilling plot. (And this isn't to say these things are valued in genre fiction either, because they are and I think genre fiction takes a bad rap on some fronts because it's entertainment as well as art).

These are the books that get grants to be written, that receive big literary prizes and that tend to make good book club books as long your book club doesn't mind being occasionally pretentious (and does actually read and discuss books).

I've read some excellent literary fiction - I majored in English so it wasn't optional. I also love nineteenth century novels, and I tend to mentally lump these into the same category, because there's a certain linguistic elegance to even those that were considered pulpy and 'genre' at the time they were written.

I find that literary fiction is never my go-to. These are usually the books that I think I should read rather than the ones I pick up for enjoyment.  

Basically, I guess all my A-Z blogging so far is leading me to underline the pleasure I find in reading, and the emphasis I put on entertainment over enlightenment.   

1 comment:

  1. Linguistic Elegance .... Love it ;)
    #AtoZchallenge ☮Peace
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