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"Genre fiction is childish--

Discussion in 'Chit Chat' started by Xanados, Mar 8, 2012.

  1. Xanados

    Xanados Maester

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    -- and the antithesis of intelligence." This is what some people say. They regard only works of non-fiction as proper literature. They think that if you like fantasy books you are a child. They think you are a senseless plebeian fool. People ask for recommendations for "well written" and "adult" fantasy books. The same people get laughed at by these "pseudo-philosophers".

    This is the view of the "elitists" of another community of writers I seek whenever I am looking for a review on a book. You will undoubtedly ask, "why do you go to these people then?" I go to them because there is a minority there that isn't as stuck-up and snobbish like the people I described. They do, however, hate most popular fantasy. I don't know if it's just for the sake of it.

    And I take their views as absolute. I do not know why that is. I somehow think that they are right in some respects. I just despise the way they respond to fantasy lovers.

    Now I will say this: fantasy does factually have a lot of mediocre/bad work. There are some hidden gems, though. I just don't think it's right for these people to think they are gods among men.

    *This sums up my Homeland situation

    Thoughts on these fools?

    P.s. it's 4chan's /lit/ forum... if any of you are familiar with that. Am I mad? I don't know.

    Edit: Here is a sort of transcript of someone I just told the hell off.
    "/lit/, what do you guys think about The Lies of Locke Lamora?"
    "I implore you to take that book, as well as its relating books, far away from this place."

    Me: ">Dull, snobbish, pseudo-philosopher."
    I implore you to stop being such a stuck-up moron. You're not cool or edgy for only liking non-fiction."

    Were you guys aware there are people like that? I once read someone saying, "fiction has nothing to do with intelligence."
     
    Last edited: Mar 8, 2012
  2. Legendary Sidekick

    Legendary Sidekick The HAM'ster Moderator

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    They are idiots.

    And unfortunately, some of "they" are decision-makers in the Department of Education who want to remove fiction from high school classrooms.

    Yes, Xanados, I am very aware of people who have this dangerous mindset. I don't know a single English teacher who agrees with them, or plans to truly support their idiotic agenda.
     
    Last edited: Mar 8, 2012
  3. Steerpike

    Steerpike Felis amatus Moderator

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    They're morons.

    Fantasy is probably the oldest literary art form.

    Beowulf.
    Paradise Lost.
    The Divine Comedy.
    A number of Shakespeare plays.

    and so on.

    And there is plenty of modern "literature" that is fantasy. Angela Carter is taught in University literature and sociology classes, for example. A lot of magic realism, which is fantasy, is shelved with literature. These guys sound uninformed. Why you hang around them, I do not know.
     
  4. All types of writing and all genres have lots of mediocre/bad work. I don't think there's any data to support the assertion that fantasy is unusual in this respect. (Not that that's what you're saying, but let's not start thinking that fantasy is any different in this respect than mystery, horror, YA, teen paranormal romance, memoir, news reports, or "literature.")
     
  5. Codey Amprim

    Codey Amprim Staff Article Team

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    I would go insane if I were around people like that. Much has been said already, but it really isn't that surprising that there are a few "turds in the punch-bowl" type of people when it comes to fiction and non-fiction... But that's with anything.

    I kind of look at it this way: it's like how schools are weeding out the creative courses to fit more book-smart classes - you're going to end up producing some intelligent people, but they're not going to have any skills to apply their knowledge with. Relating this to fiction and nonfiction is like saying, "we wrote this informative book on such and such, and it's dryer than the Arabian desert. Enjoy!"

    What the point is about not liking creativity I'll never understand. Guess people appreciate different things, and some of them should undergo sterilization.
     
  6. Xanados

    Xanados Maester

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    Indeed, but I wouldn't call them uninformed. They are constantly discussing Diogenes the Cynic, Platos, Epicureanism, etc. Why am I defending them? -.-

    Edit: you've all made very valid points.
     
    Last edited: Mar 8, 2012
  7. Steerpike

    Steerpike Felis amatus Moderator

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    Uninformed with respect to the subject of fantasy literature.
     
  8. Caged Maiden

    Caged Maiden Staff Article Team

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    If the world were just what it is... With no fantasy, no dreams, no art for the sake of creating... well I might just cease to exist. I simply could not be in existence in a place where creative energy did not flow.

    If SCHOOLS are doing away with art programs, then drawing is going to be the new smoking.... something kids do to rebel and be different than they think their parents want them to be.
    I teach my kids all about art at home, and I would encourage other parents to do the same. I learned from my mother, and was encouraged by her, and now my children get to play with expensive toys (like my prismacolors and paints). I love to see what they make, it's wonderful, art from the mind of children..... If I do my part to raise four little people who enjoy and excel at creative expression, then I wont have to disappear, right?
     
  9. Ice Spider

    Ice Spider Scribe

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    I actually do love a lot of "mainstream fiction" and non-fiction. I just like reading fantasy too. It offers something no other genre can - an escape into another world.

    Though I might be a bit of a coward and a hypocrite. When I mention I like to do creative writing (to people I don't know well), and they ask what my books about, I tell them about the character-centered aspects of the story and often just won't mention it's a fantasy. But you know, that's kind of silly. What if I was talking to a fellow fantasy fan?

    But ultimately, it doesn't hurt me when people look down on the fantasy genre. Different strokes of different folks. If they want to live in a world without any fun or imagination, it's their loss. :p
     
  10. Philip Overby

    Philip Overby Staff Article Team

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    This is my analogy to your crisis:

    Sometimes I like filet Mignon and sometimes I like cheeseburgers.

    Meaning you don't have to like only high art if you appreciate literature. 4chan seems to be sort of this "Wild West" of the internet, where people of all walks gather. Meaning you're going to get a lot of people there who don't know anything about certain topics. They are not the judges of all that is good. It's nice that you value some of their opinions, so just listen to them. If you feel someone is being snobbish about something, then they probably can't help you in that regard anyway.

    If you want to know about fantasy, come here. If you want know about Plato, go there.

    I like video games. Some of my friends say they're childish. I tell them to shove it.

    Basically, don't live your life guided by the opinions of others. I've mentioned this before, but you may miss out on a ton of good books because of others' snobbery. Don't limit yourself.
     
  11. Caged Maiden

    Caged Maiden Staff Article Team

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    <= is very intelligent..... but likes to escape reality whenever possible.

    It's a shame really when people get overly self-important and judgmental against people who are also intelligent and well-read.

    I have a lot of interests, some of them practically scholarly, while others fall within the realm of cheap thrills. I like to think I am well-rounded and have lived a rich and full life. Anyone can be moved by a famous book praised for its philosophy or poetry.... but how many people can with only words, make your heart beat faster or have you biting your fingernails in suspense? So few people can master drama, passion, tension.

    All that says to me is how little of life someone has really lived if that's what they choose to spend their time doing. Me? Nah, I have better things to do. There's surely some drama or tension I need to deal with, and once I get that sorted, I'm off to rustle up a little passion..... If only I weren't so busy I could find some time to tell people I don't know how totally awesome and smart I am!
     
    Last edited: Mar 9, 2012
  12. JCFarnham

    JCFarnham Auror

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    4chan..... Most of the people who go there do it to troll, pure and simple (This being the community that have spawned some of the most vile internet memes to date - vile in my opinion). Thus its not worth getting upset when those "elitists" dislike what you do. They probably go to that LITERATURE CHAT for many reasons, but not real books.. and apparently not creativity. Probably to argue and be condecending actually I reckon.
     
  13. Legendary Sidekick

    Legendary Sidekick The HAM'ster Moderator

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    The ones in the Dept. of Ed. are uninformed about what actually motivates students to write. Some of my students perform very well when given the opportunity to be creative. My class was chosen to work with a theater group and we had out first session yesterday. We read peoms, we'll read plays and song lyrics in later sessions and students will write narratives. As their teacher, I can honestly say that the most important part was that they had fun doing their work.

    My karate teacher said something last night that applies to the above experience:
    "Leadership is not making people do things because you can; it's inspiring people to do things."

    As an English teacher, I'll be a lot more successful if I can show my students something creative adn get them to emulate it. Informative texts are useful... but 50% fiction / 50% non- is where I draw the line. Even the nonfiction can be fun... like a procedural text that has students performing a science experiment, or it can lead to interesting creative writing assignments, such as reading an autobiography (we read Ray Charles') then writing an autobiography as if you're one of your classmates.

    Before my post becomes a chapter, I'll just end by saying that I'm trying to bring more creativity into my classroom no matter how many others try to remove it. I think most teachers are fighting that battle in whatever way won't get us fired.
     
  14. Steerpike

    Steerpike Felis amatus Moderator

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    Speaking of trolling anyone started to wonder about the "do the books you like suck?" threads?
     
  15. Philip Overby

    Philip Overby Staff Article Team

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    Where are these?
     
  16. Steerpike

    Steerpike Felis amatus Moderator

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    This one and the Salvatore thread.
     
  17. Philip Overby

    Philip Overby Staff Article Team

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    Well, ultimately I think people should read whatever they want. Even if other people think it sucks. I personally don't worry about other people's opinions much in that regard. I do value opinions that actually seem valid. But if someone just tells me "that book sucks" it doesn't really sway me not to read it.
     
  18. Devor

    Devor Fiery Keeper of the Hat Moderator

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    Imagination is a key part of succeeding in a great many fields, and I think some of these people should be seeking out things like fantasy to improve their imagination
     
  19. Butterfly

    Butterfly Auror

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    Totally agree. Do they really think we came from the stone age to the space age without using our creativity, imaginations, ingenuity?

    I mean, just look at what Star Trek gave the world. I'm talking about the idea of mobile phones, and sliding doors... That's where they began.
     
    Last edited: Mar 9, 2012
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