Monday, October 5, 2009

Are the good books only the tough ones?

While this article kind of patronizes popular fiction a little bit (just a little), it makes a valid point. Good literature can be found outside the classics or the harder-to-read works.

While pretentious naval-gazing may equal literary masterpieces to some, they equal eye-gouging bores to many more. However those that tout belly button lint also sneer at anything popular, equating it to sub-par trash that isn't worth the ink it's printed with.

Are they right? Doubt it. I'm sure they'd disagree but then again, they are the ones that are naming the classics so they'd know, right? They're know all about literary merit, what's good and what isn't and what should be heralded through time.

Sure. And I'm Britney Spears.

Of course, the masses don't read such books. They read books that they actually want to read, not those that give them headaches. Why would they do that to themselves? I'm sure they'd get that same effect at work day and in day out. They want to be entertained, is the bottom line. What's so bad about that? And when did anything with plot become a guilty pleasure?

Considering those literaries are in the minority and the rest of us read for entertainment, wouldn't it be the other way around? Shouldn't picking one's belly button be the guilty pleasure since the minority are the ones doing it? Shouldn't the rest of us reading masses determine what's good and what isn't? Aren't those guys with suede elbows and pipes holding onto some archaic notion that only the old is good?

What do you think? Actually, I'm pretty sure I already know. :) Of course good books are found in popular fiction. And there's nothing wrong with reading about vampires and werewolves or even prep school kids with too much time on their hands. If you want to, you can garner insight from anything you read. So while those stuffy dudes thumb their noses as the rest of the publishing world, I'm going to go back to my vampire novel and sigh contentedly. Thanks,


Jessica said...

This is exactly along the lines of movie critics unless it's some artsy fartsy movie it's not good. Well I'm sorry but the general public likes to be entertained. Sometime we just want to have a good time.
Plus who are you to say what is "good" How about you let me make up my own mind. Recommend things sure I like to read those but don't act like only your opinion counts.
Hell I thumb my nose at critics. What do they know other then how to bore a person.

austenfan said...

I absolutely agree! I hate that there's a sort of discrimination in this industry.If I like it, then I say it's good! :)

Donna said...

Thankfully that area of the publishing world is dwindling. Not to say thank god it's disappearing, but there was a time when works like that dominated the market. Now it's more masses-friendly which means we get better works!

a flight of minds said...

I love your point and completely agree! I absolutely hate it when some literary snob sneers at books like Twlight. I'm not even a fan of Twilight, but it's not a good enough reason to hate a book just because it's not old, not a classic, or adored by teenage girls. Every book has merits! I mean, I love the light fluff pieces, but I can see why people love the classics like Dickens and Austen. I may not like them, but that doesn't mean I think they're terrible books. Those literary snobs should do the same.

Great post!
- Alex

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