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<illiterate rant>

A large part of the problem with the American literary scene is that the notion of "good literature" has become not a marker of quality, but a particular genre and style.  If you write in the designated style of the decade, then you are writing literature, regardless of whether or not it's any "good" - that is, whether anyone would enjoy reading it.

The proper literary style and genre of the decade is determined by a few academics and academic writers, and followed by everyone else who wants to be literary.  The "quality" of the produced works is determined by how well it plays in that circle.

Great literature stands the test of time because people continue to pick up those books and read them and enjoy them and get something out of them.  People young and old, experienced and neophyte, can, in the right circumstances and allowing for some measure of personal taste, understand and enjoy the greats, and judge their quality by that mysterious inner process that no one really understands.

Abstract stylistic rules and experimental formats have nothing to do with this reality, but they have everything to do with how "literary" one is considered.

</ignorant rant>

by Zwackus on Thu Oct 2nd, 2008 at 10:39:54 PM EST

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