Friday, March 14, 2014

Genre Elitists

Today at the League, I write about the YA SF community, and a few members who think there's no real point in writing anything after Heinlein juveniles. Definitely check it out if you're so inclined!

In writing that post, I was reminded of one of my least favorite authors--Faulkner. Which is a shocking thing for me to say, considering I'm Southern and all, but Faulkner is just...well... definitely not my cup of tea.

Part of it comes from me being contrary. In my very Southern university, I was among the most Southern of Southern students, and my profs tended to insist that "of course YOU will LOVE Faulkner!" despite the fact that, yeah, no, I never have. Don't get me started on Gone With the Wind. If you tell me I have to love something, I will probably hate it.

But beyond that, I also tend to fall into the Hemingway camp on Faulkner's literary style.

Source: Rachel Draws

In case you can't read the lovely graphic:

Faulkner: He has never been known to use a word that might send a reader to the dictionary.

Hemingway: Poor Faulkner. Does he really think big emotions come from big words?

While my article at the League references YA Science Fiction specifically, I think a similar attitude has befallen YA in general. There's a prevailing idea that because a book is YA, it is lesser. 

But do these people really think that adult emotions only come from adult books? 

YA genre isn't about anything lesser. There are, if anything more emotions--emotional characters are a part of the trope!

These so-called "genre-elitists" are the worst kind of readers, in my opinion. When someone ascribes the idea that something is better or has more merit or prestige, when someone assigns class levels to art, then that person is diminishing not the art itself, but the people who enjoy that art.   

Art is an object. It has no feeling. It simply is. 

But the people who like the art do have emotions and feelings. When you insult an art, when you say it is lesser, or not important, or not as worthwhile, you are insulting the people who like the art. It's as simple as that. 

I could go on and on about this, but let me take a leaf out of Hemingway's book (rather than Faulkner's). I don't need fancy words for this anyway. 

People who insult other people for liking the things they like are assholes. 

Source: Tom Gauld, via Kelly Said
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