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.