• Dana Glossbrenner

Don't Judge a Book by Its Genre


Thought for the day: the genres of fiction. Each serves up something people want. Romance ramps up feelings of longing, desire, and fulfillment. Horror appeals to itchy mean streaks, dark imagination, and adrenaline-seeking. Sci-fi creates imaginings of what can be--either utopian or dystopian or somewhere in-between and satisfying the reader with other-world scenarios. Popular versions of the above offer pure escape. Literary fiction is not so much escape from reality but a ...new look at reality, at the human condition. Literary fiction is less predictable than popular versions of the other genres, but the genres of romance, horror, and sci-fi can be literary: "Gone with the Wind" and "Fahrenheit 451" are examples of romance and sci-fi/futurism that are literary. Horror? Some of Stephen King? Definitely Mary Shelley's "Frankenstein." So we can't dismiss a work simply because of its classification. It might one day be a classic.


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