Thursday, May 24, 2012

As discussed... infinitum.

One reservation: a residue of elitism in the notion that a key to the fun of reading genre stories is the knowledge that we could be reading something better. Betcha some genre fiction defenders would find that patronizing.

"And part of the pleasure we derive from them is the knowledge that we could be reading something better, something that, in the words of [Matthew] Arnold, reflects "the best that has been thought and said in this world. ... readers who seek out mystery novels are seeking to escape not from life but from literature, from the 'pluperfect tenses of the psychical novel.'"
Looking at the quotes again I realize he's being sarcastic; patronizing the snobs, if anything.


Tulkinghorn said...

A couple of meta-points:

The summary you link to and quote is in many small respects different from the essay itself -- not merely shorter.

Also, The New Yorker is a link whore: The title of the essay as it appears in the link is "Fifty Shades of Grey and Guilty-Pleasure Reading"

Although the 'book' is mentioned once, the piece is in NO WAY connected to it. A small joke, I suppose, and, as such, pretty funny. If not a joke, pretty pathetic.

David Chute said...

What I wrote was not based on the summery but on my memory of reading the piece last night -- on paper!

David Chute said...

Direct link for subscribers: