Struggling With Modern Literature

“Personal cynicism, disillusionment and bitterness.” This is a sentence I found describing the thrust of modern literature. If true, it describes why I don’t read much of it. A Twitter friend told me that he doesn’t believe that real life has arcs. I disagreed, saying my own life has had plenty of arcs, a lot of them resolved in an unsatisfactory way. This is my reason for avoiding cynical, disillusioned, and bitter fiction. Since I worked so hard to not give in to feelings of despair, it’s unlikely I should find them entertaining even in fiction form. Thus, I find my reading solace primarily in genre fiction.

Recently, someone wrote about how genre fiction remains popular. It’s always around and probably always will be. It isn’t out of the ordinary, which is why it isn’t very appreciated by critics. This may be true. In which case, we genre writers may be like male Bower Birds, each trying to make our niche nests a little more inviting to potential readers, decorating and rearranging our prose into something pleasing to ourselves. We reveal ourselves in our individual glory and hope that others find us attractive. We are dismayed when a flashier bird gets the attention.

But do we have any intention of trying to be that flashier bird? Don’t think so.

Some of us write to entertain. Some of us write to answer our own questions. Some of us write to find out what we know. There are other reasons and combinations of reason. One thing that unites us is that we find genre writing pleasurable.

Come to the genre side – it’s fun here.

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