Sunday, March 29, 2015


I don't enjoy the genre referred to as "Literary Fiction."  To me, many of these novels remind me of that pretentious neighbor who always derided others that drive a Camry while he drove a Prius.  They're well written, but they're not for me.  I prefer down to Earth action and adventure that lets me leave the trappings of life behind.

Many of our stereotypes are grounded in at least a caricature of reality, and the snobbish nature of those who read literary fiction seems to fit that mold.  I knew a person once who was always bringing in a new book to work to read on her lunch break, usually Little Women or Pride and Prejudice.  I never thought much about it until I brought in Guns Of The South.  She took one look at my book and sneered, "Why don't you read a real novel?"

After schooling her in the arts of etiquette, I realized this form of class warfare must be more present than I thought.  Those who read such things exclusively - don't get all worked up...I said exclusively - tend to be much more haughty than those that read a mix of this stuff and other "normal" books.  My interaction has never failed to generate an air of "I'm much more sophisticated than you" from the person in question, while my own reaction is to usually laugh and wonder how someone so uptight ever walked around without clenching his or her butt cheeks every second.

I know, I know...I have a similar level of condescension towards this stuff as its lovers have towards mine.  I'm not saying it's right, but it's usually generated by the "sophisticated" reader.  The more I've run into exclusive readers of Literary Fiction, the more the stereotype has held up, to the point where my reaction becomes automatic.  It's hard to not see haughtiness in such a reader since I've seen it in so many up to this point.  Many have been assholes, and like I always say, I promise that I can be a bigger asshole than you can.

I've wondered whatever brought on such pretension.  Do those who read this stuff exclusively believe they're more cultured?  Is it a perception of educational level?  Class-ism?  What brings someone who reads a certain type of book to the point where he or she looks down on other readers?  Shouldn't we all be in the same boat as book lovers in a world that increasingly relies on other entertainment mediums?

I guess I'll never be sophistimacated enough to figure it out.  Now, if you'll excuse me, I have to go slop the hogs before rebuilding my outhouse.

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