RARA-AVIS: Re: Mickey Spillane

From: JIM DOHERTY ( jimdohertyjr@yahoo.com)
Date: 01 Nov 2007


Reyour reactions to Stephen's point below:

"m-w.com's 1st definition makes sense to me: "writings in prose or verse;

************ ***
"Yup. I'm familiar with the definition that includes everything."

I could be wrong, but I suspect that was Stephen's point.

All writing written to be read by the general public, whether or not it actually turns out to be readable, whether or not it is actually published, is literature.

Some of it is bad. Most of it is probably average. A bit of it is good. A tiny bit falls into the category of "classic." And no one can tell what will be classic until, in the course of time, it turns out to be classic in retrospect.

People who use "literature" when they mean "classic," or at least "good," are being deliberately dismissive of that which they don't like or don't agree with, much like fundamentalist, evangelical protestants who, when they use "Christian," really mean only fundamentalist, evengelical protestants.

The purpose of such usage is to diminish "the others" by making the broad category much more exclusive than it's meant to be. "This" isn't "real" literature.
"They" aren't "real" Christians. This isn't "really" hard-boiled. That isn't "really" noir.

MORAL: Don't say "literature" when you mean


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