Rev Up the Engines

Stephen King Bashes 'Literary Snobs', and I Approve

The idea of there being a major divide between 'serious' literature and popular fiction, is something I want to address with some depth in a future post. For now, I want to showcase a clip where Stephen King presents his thoughts on the issue, and they are essentially mine as well. As someone who has been investing a lot of time looking at different magazines, anthology groups, contest sites and publishers, I can definitely say a select groups believe there is a stigma among those who write popular fiction, or especially write genre fiction like romance, science fiction, fantasy, horror, mystery or so on. There is a belief that those genres are a lesser fiction, and don't serve the greater purpose that apparent 'serious' literature can achieve. I remember in high school, my teacher saying we could select an author, and choose three of the author's books to do an in-depth study on. She listed a long group of authors that could not be selected, because there work was not fit of proper analysis. As you can guess, it was mainly genre or popular fiction authors, which I remember at the time thinking was rather elitist. I ended up doing a study on F. Scott Fitzgerald, with one of his books being 'The Great Gatsby'. Now, I want to make it clear that I absolutely love that book, but at the same time, the book really is just a huge piece of literary soap opera. It is studied among the scholars because of who wrote it. I would argue that Stephen King's 'Needful Things' is a far deeper novel, but since he is pegged a horror/popular fiction writer, then his works aren't worthy of such priviledge.

Anyway, I will save further thoughts for when it isn't far past my bed time. For now, I will present Stephen King and let you know, I share his views almost exactly.

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