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October 28, 2007
October 6, 2007
I often take the line that March 20, 2009
"genre fiction" has a function
that's not well described as
just "escape" or "relaxation". TAKEN_LIGHTLY
For me at least, I often find it's ROMANCE_OF_THE_REAL
energizing, a way of "recharging
my batteries" before returning to One of my common themes is that
the slow patient struggles of real silly fiction is a serious business,
existence. with buried purposes that we only
occasionally admit to...
But it seems that not
everyone is wired this way. TWISTED_PATHS
Just in the circles I
inhabit, I can think of
at least two exceptions:
(1) (October 6, 2007)
A friend evidentally has never
had any interest in mysteries, He might make a
westerns, science fiction, etc. good counter-example
to the claim that
He's interested in "true there's something
stories": he likes to critically important If some
read biographies and about our fictions. get by
other forms of non-fiction. without
He is also gay (and can't One possibility then maybe
remember a time when he didn't to examine is all can.
know it), and had a terrible that "Adventure
relationship of some sort Fiction" is about
with his father. how we relate to
This is not a terribly
interesting thought, I
must admit, but then,
they all can't be.
The noir film/crime fiction
fans like gritty tales of I've heard Dark Mark comment
crime and hopelessness... with disdain about the Basil
Rathbone Sherlock Holmes
They place a lot of movies as being too much
emphasis on the Noir like comic book superheros.
trope of an ordinary
person plunged into
extreme circumstances. It's an issue of "identification": if
you're conviced that you're not hero
material, a larger-than-life figure
like Holmes may leave you feeling left
out in the cold.
One friend of mine complained
about the Patrick MacGoohan
"Secret Agent" as being too good
One of the things he liked
about Le Carre's Smiley is
that he was a physically
One possibility to consider
though, is that perhaps we
can't take people's An even more unlikely possiblity:
accounts of their own What if there's something about
tastes too seriously. the appreciation of heroic fiction
that needs to be learned?
There's always pressue on
people to put on a show Then it could be that the
of elevated taste of one people who don't get it,
sort or another. are people who just
haven't gotten there yet.
When someone says they
don't like some piece We're more inclined to believe
of popular art, it that a *high* art requires
*might* be that they sophistication/experience
just don't want to to understand, but is that
admit that they do. a justified assumption?
But I have my doubts that WHEN_THE_END_IS_NEAR
they're lying-- or that
*all* of them are.
I must admit that
when I look upon the
serious and improving In Stephanson's "Cryptonomicon":
literature on display the main character discovers
in people's living that his uber-feminist ex is a
rooms, I often wonder closet romance novel fan.
where they hide the
real stuff. (Practical objection: she could
excuse her collection by writing
Upon seeing "Die critical essays about them. No
Hard", a friend of need to hide it.)
"I thoroughly enjoyed
that, and I'm throughly
ashamed of myself."
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