Re: transcendence (was Re: Fwd: RARA-AVIS: JDM)

From: Kerry J. Schooley (
Date: 16 Jun 2006

No disagreement with any of your comments Mark. Just thought I'd challenge the popular notion if for no other reason than it has become casually accepted. I could agree, too, that Camus transcends Cain (though I'm not sure that I do) but I don't think that requires transcending, or that Camus does transcend the genre, regardless of the author's purpose. I thought The Stranger fit quite comfortably in the noir genre.

What the hey, Kerry

At 03:22 PM 16/06/2006 -0400, you wrote:

>And, in our culture, most, even without reading them, would say Camus's
>was better than Cain's, that Camus had transcended his lowly
>inspiration. Literature is perceived by most as higher than crime
>fiction or science fiction, etc. It's the canon, what's taught in
>universities. Sure, genre fiction has now been taught for a few
>decades, too, but as electives, or in Popular Culture or American
>Studies programs, where it is engaged more on a sociological than an
>aesthetic basis. Bringing it full circle, there are clearly class
>presumptions in what we see as real vs. trash literature. Taste is as
>much a socio-demographic construct as an aesthetic one.
>ps -- in his recent What Good Are the Arts?, John Carey does a great job
>of tearing apart the commonly held belief that consumers get more from
>high art than from low art, or other, non-artistic pursuits, for that

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