February 16, 2007

Categorizing

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There were some interesting responses to yesterday's meme at Booking Through Thursday. People have some definite feelings about what they read and how what they are reading is perceived. I especially liked Writing Wrongs and Marianne Arkins' response. They really thought about it.


The topic of the romance genre reminded me of a post from Bookseller Chick I read recently. She wrote a good rant on woman's fiction. She feels that anything written by a woman now, gets categorized as "Chick-Lit" by publishers. She especially bristles at the new category of "para-porn". What is that, you may ask? Apparently, it's horror novels with female protagonists.


I think this categorizing has gone too far. "Let's put everyone in a box," seems to be the way things are going. I use the term "Chick-Lit" myself but I'm feeling suddenly that it's become overused and is getting a bad reputation. I like novels with female protag's taking on the world. I like funny stories about shopping. I like a girl-meets-boy and overcomes obstacles to be together novel too, don't get me wrong. But I wouldn't put someone like Magaret Atwood, or Carol Shields in the Chick-Lit category, and they write predominately about women.


I often read "Classic" books, but Classic is hardly a category itself. You could just say it's a really old book but those old books could be categorized many different ways. Hemingway and Austen have very little in common, if they were contemporary authors. Pride & Prejudice is a romance (it's about love and marriage for goodness sake!), although it's old and well written.


I guess I think that you shouldn't feel bad about what you read. Just because I like Sophie Kinsella doesn't mean I don't like George Eliot. Variety is the spice of life. Read everything. Darn it just read!


3 comments :

  1. I smoke Virginia Slims. Their slogan is You've come a long way, baby. Meaning woman can be seen smoking and not be ostracized for it. This slogan was penned in the 1970's. Although nowadays I'm ostacized just for smoking period--but that's a whole 'nother topic....my point is and please, please this is not a racist comment, I am quoting John Lennon and his song: "Woman is the nigger of the world." It was true when he coined the phrase and sadly it's still true today. I suppose maybe it will help if we elect a female president in the USA, but baby, we still have a long way to go...

    P.S. I'm so happy I'm now able to view your entire blog! I don't know what you (or I) did different?? It's a cyber mystery. However, I still can't view Kristy's....

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  2. Read everythng - that could be my motto!

    Reading about categorising classics makes me wonder exactly why I decided to give them a shelf of their own while leaving all my other volumes of fiction jumbled together. Separating out the non-fiction I can understand, but . . .

    I guess it seemed ike a good idea at the time.

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