NYRB’s allegiance to language
Posted: 03 March 2013 09:41 AM   [ Ignore ]
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Literary fiction cri de coeur.

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Posted: 03 March 2013 11:10 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]
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What on earth does the phrase mean?

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Posted: 03 March 2013 12:43 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]
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What on earth does this have to do with Wordorigins.org?

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Posted: 04 March 2013 05:34 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]
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It falls within broad mandate of discussing language writ large, especially since the genre of literary fiction is being defined for its “allegiance to language.” (Whatever that means.)

Other than the marketing value of being able to target “literary” books to specific demographics, I don’t see why we need a genre of “literary fiction.” Then there is the question of whether it’s a genre at all. What are the common characteristics of the supposed genre? Literary fiction is, essentially, well-written fiction, and that’s not a genre but a qualitative classification.

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Posted: 04 March 2013 08:07 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 4 ]
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I wasn’t entirely sure either, LH, and posted it in the meta bit originally. I thought the attempts to label genres interesting.  Bram Stoker and Mary Shelley in the Horror section. It is subjective - Martin Amis called Elmore Leonard “the Dickens of Detroit” but to me he’s just an unexceptional thriller writer. Does Anne Tyler write literary fiction and if not what is it? The unreadable (to me) David Foster Wallace? There’s a whole branch of philosophy called Aesthetics. Many people need directions in bookshops and libraries. (Religion, Philosophy & New Age bundled together though - aaaargh)

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