Sweet Vernal Zephyr

Succinct Book Reviews
(aka Creating & Whit)

Just last month I was intrigued when, in friendly conversation, the romance novel I was reading (with the obligatory naked male torso on the cover) was scoffed at in comparison to "legitimate literature".

Later in the conversation it was admitted that the a fore mentioned legitimate literature (Joy of Man's Desiring) was romantic, did already have a racy scene, and had exceedingly sweet phrasing.

This got the hamsters in my head running...
Let us delve into the depths of this classification of "legitimate literature".

To be precise...

According to Webster:
Legitimate, the 4th definition: "conforming to recognized principles or accepted rules and standards"
Literature, the 3A definition: "...writings having excellence of form or expression and expressing ideas of permanent or universal interest"

To be marginal...

According to Ivy-(be)Leaguers:
Only titles that are part of the literary cannon are legitimate.
(Thanks to my friend, the 8th Grade English teacher for this additional argument facet.)
(Additional Note: DH Lawrence is pretty damn racy!)

To be obtuse...

Vernacular Connotation (when Urban Dictionary matches what's in my head):
Legitimate, definition 1.4: "Something very, very true"
Literature, definition 1: "...aesthetic expression... Most people think of literature as novels, but it can be anything you read, write, or create, as long as it has a special meaning..."

All in all, I prefer the simple(ton) pleasures of illegitimate literature.
Perhaps I shall take to wearing a big red "L" on my coat.
But then I will be the only one laughing.
No one gets my jokes.


Ohhh, don't get me started. What if I think your (ambiguous you, not you SVZ) legitimate novel is crap and boring and you think my nekkid man-titty smut is the same. Who's right? Who decides whose taste is superior and therefore a standard for the world? (or their own circle of friends?)

I HATE that snobby attitude. If you get published good on you and no one has any right to say your less worthy than the guy down the street who got published. Your work obviously appeals to someone or it wouldn't have been published and even if only a few people buy it, that counts for something. Reading is entertainment, (along with education and other stuff), but I don't want every book I read to be deep and make me think and analyze my life and admire the prose because of the lilting feel and the expansive dialogue as they ruminate on the great mysteries of life. I want to escape reality for a bit and if that means reading what others consider trash? Fine with me. I like to eat Doritos too and watch Die Hard. I'm not ashamed that I'm not eating caviar and watching dark foreign films with subtitles. There's something for everyone, if only some people didn't think that everyone had to enjoy only the somethings they deem worthy. Ugh.

Tam, darling, I LOVE your passion! :D

I totally agree with Tam!

I went to college, I studied literary classics.. and I was bored to tears. So if given the choice, I'd pick paranormal romance, contemporary romance, overly cheesy science fiction, unicorn fantasies, etc.. over literary fiction. Not to say it's all bad, sure, but I've read modern paranormal romance with a better plot struction than literary fiction.. AND the PNR was a heck of a lot easier to understand.

So to those that poo-poo everything I love to read because it's not "legitimate literature" I say "At least I'm enjoying myself! And you're a jerk."

Mmk, rant mostly over. :)
~!~ MG

Morning Glow, Let's hear it for the illiterate literature lovers!

I get so tired of the whole Literature issue.
Dutch literature is so boring mostly that I rather be called a barbarian for reading non-literature books than having to read literature.

Sullivan, I'm not familiar with the Dutch Literature titles. Mind sharing the title of highest esteem?

I went through a literary novels phase. Bah. Dreary, depressing stuff. Life is too short to read that crap.


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Thanks so much for delving into my head. It's scary in here sometimes, so it is nice to have company! Don't step on the zephyr...

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