Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Thoughts On Literature

Agree or disagree:  Existential crises, relationship trauma and childhood wounds are all more interesting if the character has to deal with them in the middle of a murder investigation, jewel heist or starship battle.


  1. Agreed.

    I know there's a huge riff between "literary" writers and "genre" writers, and it annoys me quite frankly.

    I think a blend of the two makes for a really awesome book. I want a deep character going through a change and coming to terms with himself, the universe, significant others--something. But I think it makes it more interesting if this is all happening while he's trying to diffuse a bomb.

    The external and internal conflict came make for an amazing read.

    And this article made me think of you: http://www.cracked.com/blog/the-5-most-horrifying-crimes-committed-by-senior-citizens/

    Watch out for those Senior Citizens!

  2. When you make the external and internal conflict reflect each other then the whole thing is on a higher plane, you have yourself a timeless classic then.

  3. I think one issue may be that genre fiction is expected to reach a catharsis for both internal and external conflicts, while literary fiction has more room for ambiguity and experimentation.

    But most good sci-fi stuff has ambiguous notes to its resolution. I'd actually describe the line between straight genre and pseudo-literary genre fiction as the difference between the Blade Runner theatrical cut and the Blade Runner director's cut.

    My favorite mysteries, "Red Harvest" and "The Maltese Falcon" are similarly ambiguous.