As y’all can probably tell from the title of this blog, I love commercial fiction. To me this is a euphemism for a good story well told. How can you argue with that?
But people do.
Genre fiction, according to some, is a lesser beast then say, literary fiction. National book award winning fiction. New Yorker fiction.
This article offers a counter argument. What makes for a good read? Is it trash if it’s not hard to digest? Or dissect?
I would offer a grayer distinction. I’ve read literary fiction that seems like so much puffed up tomfoolery, albeit with a great deal of flashy, showy sentences. Or sentences so pared down you wonder where the writing comes in.
And I’ve read commercial fiction so deep I’m still trying to climb out of the chasms into which the authors drew me. There is no deeper meditation on death than Pet Semetary as far as I’m concerned. And probably no subject deeper than death.
Is this just a simple question of one camp–and I mean that in the little kid, neh neh neh neh sense–saying, We’re the best, and the other trumpeting, No, we are? Is there a real distinction here at all?
Read the article and tell me what you think.