Re: RARA-AVIS: Genre Fiction Will Die!

From: jacquesdebierue (
Date: 30 Jun 2008

--- In, "foxbrick" <foxbrick@...> wrote:

> Mario, not only that (and that's true of much simpler novels, as
> well, including the likes of, say, Jackie Susann's YARGO or, I
> suspect, Alice Sebold's THE LOVELY BONES), but also you're making
> the mistake of confusing official "bestsellers" with books that
> customers, as opposed to bookstore chains and distributors, are
> actually buying.

Yes, I was referring at the bestseller lists that the NY Times publishes, for example.

> And then there's the "weighting" that the compilers of such lists
> make so as to distort the list in favor of "worthier" books.
> It's a remakably corrupt process, to no compellingly good end.
> And, Nathan, some people might well want complex or novel
> novels...but not on a beach or in an airplane.

How do they weight the list in favor of "worthier" books? Aren't these lists based on reported sales by a sampling of bookstores?

As to complexity, even Conrad, a popular writer in his day, seems too complex for many contemporary readers. I've lent people Conrad novels and have them complain that the stuff was too hard. And Conrad is nowhere nearly as hard as Gaddis or Faulkner in full form. Conrad's sentences are pretty straightforward, though the psychology of his characters is complex.



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