Friday, October 12, 2007

The Easy Way Out

In his recent review of Jilly Cooper's Riders, Charlie Horse stirred up the tired old plot of Literaries vs Populars.

Since time immemorial, so-called intellectuals have crowed about pop fiction, or genre, books being anything from meaningless, simplistic fluff to dangerous brain suckers. Of course, their targets have mainly and loudly been romance novels, and their prime beef is that romance novels end happily.

Don't they realize how hard a happy ending is to achieve? People spend their whole lives trying to be happy. It ain't easy, my friend. Think about it.

You want easy?

Dying is easy. Yup. That's right. You can always die any time you want to, but you can't always be happy any time you want. I think killing your characters--either physically or emotionally--is a cop out. You're too lazy to help them achieve the most difficult, elusive thing of all. Or, maybe you don't know how. Maybe your brain doesn't work quite as well as you think.

So, before all you literary writers and critics peer down your noses at me and my cohorts, try taking the hard way for once in your life. Then get back to me, k?

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Anonymous Bev Stephans said...

For a long time, I too, jeered at romance novels. I read mainly mystery, sci-fi and biography. I still read those genres but I'm also a rabid romance novel reader. After a couple of my favorite mystery writers killed off main characters, I became disgusted with them.

You're right! It's much easier to kill off a character then to develop and nurture a relationship.

Bev is now stepping off her soap box right into a pile of cow patties.

October 12, 2007 2:21 PM  
Blogger Ann Wesley Hardin said...

Thanks, Bev. I usually keep my trap shut about these things. Let the cretins think (or not) as they will. But seeing as I had nothing else to blog about today, I decided to let 'er rip.

At least you were open to learning and can admit you were wrong. These twats won't even try a sampling of romances to investigate. They just run at the mouth.

Their loss, right?

October 12, 2007 2:32 PM  
Blogger Renee' said...

Jaid Black went off about this very same thing in one of the Jaided Lady articles she wrote.
It always steams me when I hear this genre'.or the people who read it belittled! I could go on and on, but you know where I am coming from.
But after reading this..

"Don't they realize how hard a happy ending is to achieve?"

I have to disagree with you Ann!

You just need to upgrade to the premium massage package dear!

October 12, 2007 3:28 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well said Ann! Since I'm still new to the genre I'm also new to the criticism of the genre. Oh I know most of the illiterate goobers I hang out with enjoy poking fun at romance novels but I'm still perplexed by the hostility of so many "well read" literary types to the genre. Especially to a masterpiece like Jilly Cooper's Riders.

Rest assured if anyone ever says an unkind word about your wonderfully sexy tales I will challenge them to a duel ;)

October 12, 2007 3:40 PM  
Anonymous Bev Stephans said...

Charlie, maybe you could have a duel with Harold Bloom. He dissed Doris Lessing for winning The Nobel Prize For Literature.

October 12, 2007 4:23 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

How depressing Bev. I have some of Harold Bloom's literary critique books too :(

October 12, 2007 4:41 PM  

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