RARA-AVIS: Re: The definition of literature

From: jacquesdebierue ( jacquesdebierue@yahoo.com)
Date: 07 Nov 2007

--- In rara-avis-l@yahoogroups.com, JIM DOHERTY <jimdohertyjr@...> wrote:
<<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.>>

I would like to add that _every_ piece of fiction is genre fiction... sometimes it takes time for the genre to get a name. When Franz Kafka was writing his brilliant stuff, the words "Kafkian" and "noir" had not been invented, obviously, but if somebody today were to write something reminiscent of Kafka, it would probably be called "noir" or
"Kafkian noir", or something like that, something to do with genre.

The division between genre and nongenre fiction doesn't exist except in the business of publishing.

Take one of the most brilliant novels of recent times, Roberto Bola񯧳 _The Savage Detectives_ (Los detectives salvajes). What is it? I think many raravians would categorize it as hardboiled and noir, without much difficulty. The publishers would probably advertise it as something else, and general bookstores would want to put it with
"fiction", but the reader can see what it is...



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