Part One: Why do you think there is a line between literary and genre fiction?
|It's all in your head!|
But Dalmater then offers two very curious things: J.R.R. Tolkien is apparently a "literary masterpiece" in the minds of those who created the line, and her attempt to describe the line.
The the latter: I don't know if she is an academic herself (a teacher, yes, but an academic, not necessarily, since the student is likely a senior in high school), but it seems somewhat silly to say "only academics and literary circle people think like this" in a negative sense, and then to say "but here's what the line is." The implication of the argument that the line exists "only in their minds" is that it's fictive. If it's fictive, then it doesn't exist. Strange.
|Said the kid to the writer!|
|Thus came the novel...|
The point is that the line between "literary" and "genre" is fuzzy, and, to be fair, always has been. It's not distinct and never will be. So long as folks from both sides of the aisle keep flirting with one another, we're going to keep ending up with unexpected generic mutations (two-headed literary scifi babies, if you will). But things are different now. Genre is widely accepted both among readers and academics. There are still folks holding back, but these are the folks in academia who are becoming, in my opinion, increasingly irrelevant. For now, though, we have to accept that it's not an "us vs. them" thing anymore. It's about finding out what we're doing wrong and how we can make genre better. Science fiction isn't hurting right now because academics hate it; it's hurting because because the genre, as a whole, hasn't figured out what it's doing wrong. I have a few ideas, but that's for another post.
(Part Two and Part Three)
P.S.: Special gold stars to whoever can find the hidden haiku. It's not very good, but whatever.