Friday, October 12, 2007

Inquiring Minds Want To Know

The beginning statement on a NANO thread was: "You know you're writing literary fiction when..."

And I snarkily answered: "...you've only sold 2,147 copies of your 1,387 page novel and reporters show up while you're eating dog food out of the can in the back of your yellow Pinto to tell you that you've won the National Book Award, Pulitzer, and Nobel Prize in the same year. And somehow you manage to give them the finger because you just don't care."

But it begs a question. Is litfict just an uber-genre anointed on a genre book ("Mystic River" - a mystery, "For Whom the Bell Tolls" - adventure/war, for examples) that resonates on a deeper level? Can one really write a literary fiction novel ("The Corrections" - a saga) and self-anoint it as litfict and bypass what it really is?

Or are all novels really mysteries where someone struggles with someone for something?

2 comments:

Austin Carr said...

Most of Shakespeare's work could be called crime fiction. The Iliad, Urban Fantasy. No one alive today knows what will be called literature in a hundred years. Probably James Patterson and Nora Roberts. JMHO.

Rick Bylina said...

Why not Jack Getze and Susan Goodwill?