Thursday, January 12, 2012

Bridging the Divide

Studying the types of novels out there, it seems obvious to me that the writer who creates a true new synthesis between literary fiction, on one hand, and popular or genre fiction on the other, will reinvent the form. There have been attempts coming from the literary end of the spectrum to do this very thing.

Some like Michael Chabon have paid homage to "pop" fiction without budging from their stale academy style. Some by writing in a more straightforward, more popular style have traveled a few baby steps down the road toward a new synthesis-- Jonathan Franzen, notably. Others like Joyce Carol Oates, by creating bad plots and caricatured characters, have jumped entirely over the gulf between literary and pop, ending up on the other side, in so doing giving us the worst of both types.

I'd like to see more writers from the genre side of things take a crack at bridging the vast divide.

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