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

From: Patrick King (
Date: 08 Nov 2007

--- William Ahearn <> wrote:

> > convince
> > you?
> I don't think it's a genre book. That's what you
> don't
> get.
***************************************************** Well, William, if THE SPY WHO CAME IN FROM THE COLD is not a genre book, what is it? LeCarre has spent his professional life writing an entire series of espionage novels, many of which connect to each other. They're brilliant. They certainly stand up to several readings at different times in ones life. But LeCarre is a genre writer just as Forsyth or Clancy or Cussler. LeCarre may be a better writer than Clancy or Cussler; I personally don't think he's better than Forsyth but they're in the same league, still what he writes, what they all write, is genre fiction. You can argue that not all Graham Greene's work was for the same genre. But as far as I know everything LeCarre wrote using that name, and I've read a lot of it, is espionage genre. It certainly isn't main sream fiction and the espionage element is always present. Because a work is well executed, well plotted, with well drawn characters does not remove it from the genre it is designed to upgrade.

Patrick King

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