franzferdinand2 asked: This is an intentionally vague question, but at what point do you think genre stops being useful?
I used to be really embarrassed about this, but I eventually got over myself: I don’t get the difference between genre and literary fiction. In my head, I know that there is a difference. Literary fiction has literary value of some sort, while genre fiction is pop fiction, meant to entertain or appeal to the population at large.
I know it, I understand it, I can define it, but I don’t get it. I can’t differentiate between one and the other unless I’m given a hint, and then I can work backwards and come up with reasons why a book is one or the other. But inside, I feel like it’s a fake dichotomy.
But I’m in a position where I’m not too concerned about the difference between the two because of my own personal interests and what I tend to write about, so I never had to do the legwork to really crystalize the difference between the two in my head, or seek out someone who could lay it out for me plainly. I don’t have to care, so I don’t, pretty much. I struggled with it before realizing I didn’t need it.
I think genre is always useful. Every story, no matter how fantastic, reflects some aspect of the culture it was created in. Call of Duty Ghosts is garbagio, but its plot reflects certain anxieties of our time. The new wave of war movies means something. Rappers suddenly being cool with going down, after a couple decades of dudes treating oral like a one-way street, means something. Even like…trashy freaky sex novels, the resurgence of practical effects in increasingly explicit horror flicks, there’s reasons behind it.
I feel like those reasons in genre fiction are as valid and interesting as the reasons for stuff in literary fiction. I get a lot out of stuff. If you’re willing to approach a work and put it on the autopsy table, you can find a lot to chew on, and that’s as valuable to me as whatever old novel makes it into the canon. Everything is useful, forever! So far, at least.
Short-sighted POV, maybe, but life’s short! And nobody pays me to write nothing, so I can have whatever dumb opinions and shortcomings I want
Bet you didn’t expect THAT answer! Or maybe you did, every once and a while I ask somebody to explain the difference to me online, so maybe this was a trap you set for me!!