Re: RARA-AVIS: Re: The definition of literature

From: Allan Guthrie (
Date: 04 Nov 2007

That'll have to change, Jim. With more and more publishers using POD technology to keep their backlist in print at minimal cost, soon everything that's published will pass the test of time by staying in print forever. When everything is a classic, the term becomes -- more obviously -- meaningless.

I just read a couple of wonderful pieces of non-literature (that would be your preferred term, Miker?). Neither would be classed as crime novels, but both are doom-laden enough to qualify as literary noir, hence, possibly, of interest to the group. Gerald Kersh's THE DEAD LOOK ON (1943) -- a fictionalised account of the Lidice massacre. Kersh is a neglected genius. And Kathleen Sully's SKRINE (1960) -- a small-scale dystopian novel with a murderer-protagonist. I'd never heard of her before and there's no bio in the book and very little info on the web, so if anyone knows anything about her, I'd be most appreciative if you'd share that information.


----- Original Message ----- From: "JIM DOHERTY" <> To: <> Sent: Sunday, November 04, 2007 2:10 AM Subject: RARA-AVIS: Re: The definition of literature

> This has come up before and I'll simply say what I
> said then. The test of time may not be a particularly
> good way of deciding what does and does not become a
> classic.
> But it's the best way we've got.

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