RARA-AVIS: Re: The definition of literature

From: JIM DOHERTY ( jimdohertyjr@yahoo.com)
Date: 07 Nov 2007


Re your comment below:

"Separate? Perhaps not. Distinct? Without question. The above statement seems to rely on a credible-by- association argument that is a tad falacious. It says that The Maltese Falcon is a good book, it's a good genre book and it's a good genre book because all the books in the genre are good and if someone would only read all the books in the genre, one would realize that."

That isn't even close to what I said. Of course they're distinct. They're distinct because of their excellence.

But they are NOT excellent IN SPITE of their being genre fiction, nor does their excllence put them outside of the genre, both of which conclusions are the inescapable inference of the phrase "transcends the genre."

I never said they were excellent BECAUSE they were genre fiction. I said, or at least I meant, that excellence was not a function of whether or a piece of fiction was part of a a genre, and that, if a genre piece does achieve excellence, it is not because it has somehow overcome the supposedly inherent handicaps of its genre.


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